Facing towards Dublin bay, O'Donnell + Tuomey’s Sleeping Giant offers superb views as it is carved into its surroundings
The 500 sq m house’s 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. 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. Environmentally friendly GGBS cement lightens the shade of the concrete.