17 Chapel Road Dungiven House
Chapel road is part of the Main Street, Dungiven and on the Main Route from Derry to Belfast. Our contemporary addition to this streetscape has created discussion but sits comfortably within the vocabulary of this small town. The house enjoys immediate views of the Dungiven town and panoramic scenes of the local Mountain. The interior of the house is distinguished by the primacy of natural light and the structure’s awareness of maximizing every worthwhile view for 360 degrees.
While the house is thoroughly contemporary it remains aware of its vernacular heritage and as such is designed as a one-room deep dwelling, relating back to traditional Irish architecture. A 4,500sq ft house it occupies a half acre site. A simple L-shape form is created by two accommodation blocks which are connected via a glass link. The orientation of this form on the site allows an external private garden, to the southwest and to the rear and enjoy sun from midday to late afternoon, of which the client was very keen to achieve. This private garden is composed of three levels, with a raised circular terrace which acts as an extension to the kitchen/dining/ living area. Connected to this, is a recessed courtyard and a garden on a lower plane. Tucked adjacent to the house is a shallow pool feature that has been strategically sited to capture the various moods of natural light created within the glass link. This section is at once a device for linking or division. The private family living/ dining area can be closed off with a substantial sliding door. The spaces are arranged as a series of destinations, with each announcing itself confidently so that the inhabitant is conscious of a processional movement throughout the dwelling.
On entering the house, the visitor is immediately aware of the courtyard to the rear, which draws the eye and ensures a profusion of light in the entrance hall. The corridors on ground and first floor are light filled, benefiting from floor to ceiling glazing and horizontal strip glazing on each floor respectively. The palette of materials employed throughout: Wood, stone, and aluminium framed glazing, is minimal and associated. All doors are white oak; flooring is either large porcelain slab tiles or timber flooring. The feature staircase manufactured from American black walnut provides a contrast to the neutral walls. The broad staircase declares itself and is intended to lead the inhabitant up to the sleeping quarters on the first floor. These stairs are visible from both wings, with terrace, living, dining, and kitchen area enjoying a full view. The stone used throughout the house, on the hearth and copings, is a naturally finished black limestone from County Donegal. The five bedrooms upstairs, all en-suite are distributed in sets of two and three in the wings on the first floor. The three bedrooms positioned in a row each have their en-suite bathrooms located strategy up in the attic space, accessed via an open staircase. They also share a communal balcony accessed via tilt and turn window/doors. Clean lines are enabled through the exclusion of a handrail on this structural glass balcony.
‘This simple layout ensures an overall ambience created through a profusion of natural light flowing through floor to ceiling glazing complemented by the use of long balconies, an integration of stone and its governing minimalist narrative’- Quote Perspective Magazine.