Project in Detail
The Sleeping Giant
O'Donnell + Tuomey, Dublin, Ireland
World Architecture Festival 2008 - Shortlisted
View from the road - house in a hollow
THE SLEEPING GIANT Killiney, Co. Dublin, Ireland
Brief / Design
The site is high on a hill in Killiney with a view southwards towards Dublin Bay and the Sugarloaf in the distance. It has the character of a secluded hollow, 6m below the road, with distinctive rocky outcrops of granite. The 500 m2 house is built into the topography of the site in a series of split levels within each level directly related to the ground level outside. The plan form is angled into the shape of the site to provide optimum views of the sea, and to bring sunshine into the house at all times of the day. The interlocking rooms step over the rocky site providing a variety of views. An outdoor dining terrace provides views of the Southern coastline.
The clients’ brief was to design a home for them and their children to live in on their return from London.
There was none other than the standard conditions. An existing house, which had presented a blank face to the sea view, was demolished to clear the site for the new house.
Materials and Method of Construction
The form of the house responds to the character of the site. The most distinctive and challenging aspect of this is the faceted concrete roof which is inspired by the granite rock formation around it. From the outside it reads like another outcrop. As the house is approached from above the view of the roof is particularly important. The concrete sparkles in the sunlight. The chamfered concrete roof is also exposed on the inside to give an angled, tent-like ceiling which reflects light throughout the day. The granite chips give a soft glow to the flowing spaces. The kitchen and living room walls are fully glazed with heavy timber frames along their Southern and Eastern edges. The concrete ceiling appears light on these sides. Its tilted angles emphasize the horizontal line of the distant sea horizon. The roof floats clear of the internal walls of the house with a series of glazed clerestories allowing daylight and views to penetrate the depth of the house.
The building is a reinforced concrete construction with solid granite outer walls forming a base, and lime render on the walls above. The concrete roof wraps and is anchored by an exposed in situ concrete chimney and rests on lines of slender steel columns. The concrete roof is finished with a hand applied stiff granite screed which echoes the crease-lines in the cranked concrete structure below.
The concrete is constructed with a special granite aggregate / sand mix, and is sandblasted to expose the reflective mica in the granite. High quality formwork was used and set out to design drawings to achieve a high quality fair-faced finish. Large-scale vertical pours and continuous slabs were achieved to eliminate construction joints. Environmentally friendly GGBS cement lightens the shade of the concrete.
We worked closely with the builders to control and detail the concrete construction. The complex shuttering patterns was worked through a series of cardboard models, which the contractors kept in the site office during that phase of the work.
We were appointed in August 2004.
Key dates are:
Planning Permission Granted: June 2005
Tender documents complete: November 2005
Construction commenced: April 2006
Construction complete: August 2007
O'Donnell + Tuomey
Ms Triona Stack
O'Donnell + Tuomey
00353 1 475 25 00
Ms Grace Bolger
Brendan Merry & Partners
00353 1 278 24 80
Mr Joe McCarron
Townlink Construction Ltd.
00353 1 462 71 31
Mr John Tuomey
O'Donnell + Tuomey
Mr Liam Keogh
00353 1 490 16 11
Bespoke galvanised steel balustrades
Mr Ned Cody
.+353 56 77 67146
External lime render
George O'Malley Plastering
Mr George O'Malley
.+353 1 211 67 06
Internal and external Granite
Mr Frank Boyle
.+353 43 411 22
Internal and external Iroko joinery
Mr Jim O'Reilly
.+353 1 885 04 32
Iroko floorboards, end-grained tiles
.+44 28 9264 8367