stylish high-end flats
Irish coast as far as you can see: In Sutton, Dublin, three modern, block-shaped residential houses with white walls and a dark Prefalz façade in P.10 anthracite have been resisting the rough weather conditions in Dublin Bay since spring 2019. With their striking design and dark hue, the stylish high-end homes designed by the architect Fred Wilson of Adrian Hill Architects stand out from the houses in their surroundings. A bold step that inspired other building projects in the area.
Sudden changes in weather, lashing wind and a lot of rain: Those living in the Dublin Bay area are used to the whims of nature, but over the years, they can leave their traces on buildings located close to the sea. “We made a point of paying attention to durability and environmental friendliness when we were choosing the colour and material,” as the leading architect in the Ouvane project Fred Wilson tells us. He grew up here and knows the area like the back of his hand. This made it all the more special for him when his design of the Ouvane beach houses brought him back to Sutton, Dublin.
An architect’s vision
The office of Adrian Hill Architects is usually characterised by a lively atmosphere, but due to the Corona pandemic, things have quieted down. Normally, everyone works together and is constantly in contact with each other. “It is very important to us that we have a social atmosphere and also interact with one another on a personal level – even our clients call us on our private mobile phones,” as Fred Wilson explains. For the director of the Dublin-based architectural office, who specialises among other things in upscale residential buildings, projects like the trio of beach houses on Dublin Bay are nothing new. Still, there were a few design challenges that needed to be overcome. According to Wilson, “the property is wide but has a relatively narrow depth towards the beach. In addition, the buildings are right by a main road, while the back part is aligned in the direction of the beach.” The houses were a little tricky to design from a planning perspective, but the architect maintains that “this makes the design better, as you’re forced to think outside the box.”
The architects’ claim to “create buildings and spaces with a simple, consistent approach to quality design” is also reflected in the beach homes on Greenfield Road: The dark Prefalz façade was set before a white brick wall, which visually softens the façade. Moreover, the street side has differently sized windows that tempt you to get a glimpse inside. Whether you see to much? Not according to Wilson, for while a lot of glass and large window fronts were used on the side of the house facing the beach, the interiors of the street side are well protected from prying eyes.
A strong façade
Fred Wilson knew from the very beginning that the façade should be clad in metal, so his research quickly led him to PREFA. As he had already come into contact with PREFA products in other projects, he knew about their durability: “The colour lasts longer and we also wanted an eco-friendly solution,” as the architect explains. In the Ouvane project, the façade and the windows should have the same colour – not only to do justice to the overall composition of the design: While the three houses clearly stand out from their architectural surroundings, their dark hue causes them to blend in with the surrounding landscape when you look at them coming from the coast. Another striking colour accent: Depending on the weather and the time of day, the façade takes on different colours – from a cloudy grey to a dark shimmering blue.
Prefalz on the Emerald Isle
Paul Johnston, Technical Sales Manager for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, helped propose the idea of using Prefalz for the façade. He was in contact with the installer company PAD Roofing and drew their attention to the material. “Prefalz is perfect for standing seam roofing and cladding in Ireland. Aluminium is corrosion resistant, does not rust, and the Prefalz finishes are very resistant to the sea salt in the air. In addition, Prefalz is also in high demand due to the material and the colour guarantee,” as Johnston states. These are some of the reasons why this durable material is proving so popular on the Emerald Isle, which is famous for its rugged, picturesque coastline and changeable weather conditions. Over 150 tons of Prefalz Aluminium were sold in Ireland in 2020 – and according to Johnston, this trend looks like it is set to continue.
Residential houses Ouvane - details
- Text and interview: Anneliese Heinisch
- Photos: © Gareth Byrne Photography