Behind the Victorian villa of Santa Maria on Cunningham Drive and the modern bungalows on Cunningham Drive, lay a hidden and beautiful site, characterised by its steep slope, slightly ‘hollowed out’ and enclosed nature locally, and with fantastic views out to Dalkey and Dublin Bay.   There was an inherent level of untapped potential on the site which felt neglected, abandoned and left-over when our client’s acquired it.  This was a unique opportunity to develop special and creative homes at a spectacular site.  The site once had extensive tree coverage, but these were cleared and the site was left with large mounds of rock.   Stone and rock were to become the building blocks for this development.  The opportunities and unprecedented challenges ran in parallel on this site; the gradient, the context, the materiality and the views.

The development, now almost complete, consists of eighteen houses, ranging from two bedroom, three storey mews, to four storey over basement dwellings.  It was designed as a series of 5 blocks, each of which reacted and engaged with the changing context, boundaries and aspect of the site.  While dwelling types and scales vary, a clear palette of materials has been utilised throughout.  This includes a high quality brick finish, cut-stone cladding, with cut stone plinths, copings, bandings and cills, zinc roofs and high specification glazing.  A contemporary interpretation of a ‘porch’ and pillars has been repeated and varied throughout the development to define and highlight the entrances, with varying contemporary bays.

Our clients have worked closely with us in the challenging construction climate with a very steep and rocky site, and a high level of expectation for a quality finish from all sides.  Now that these homes are beginning to be occupied, the quality and sophistication of the design and collaboration is becoming clear.


Dalkey, County Dubin


 Allied Land Investments


© Paul Tierney