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Sleeping Giant - Killiney House

Located high on a hill in Killiney, with views southwards towards Dublin Bay and the Sugarloaf Mountain, the site has the character of a secluded hollow, 6m below the road, with distinctive rocky outcrops of granite.

The house is built into the topography in a series of split levels directly relating to the ground levels outside. Interlocking rooms step over the rocky site providing a variety of views to sea.

The form of the house responds to the character of the site, the most distinctive and challenging aspect being the faceted concrete roof inspired by the granite rock formation around it. From the outside it reads like another outcrop. Approached from above the chamfered concrete roof is exposed on the outside where it sparkles in the sunlight. To the inside it forms an angled, tent-like ceiling, the mica of the granite aggregate reflecting light throughout the day and giving a soft glow to the flowing spaces.

Killiney, Dublin
End Year:
  • American Academy of Arts and Letters 2015 Awards: O’Donnell + Tuomey
    Dublin, 29 Oct  – 9 Nov 2015

The kitchen and living room walls are fully glazed with heavy timber frames along their Southern and Eastern edges. Anchored by an exposed in situ concrete chimney and resting on lines of slender steel columns, the tilted planes of the ceiling emphasise the horizontal line of the distant sea horizon. The roof floats clear of the internal walls of the house. Clerestory glazing allows daylight and views to penetrate the depth of the house.

A close working relationship with the builders allowed the precise detail of the concrete construction to be controlled and the complex shuttering patterns were worked through a series of cardboard models, kept in the site office during that phase of the work.


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