It is the light that first hits you when you enter Hendre. The entire house is designed to maximise the beautifully clear light of the Irish coast, flooding through full-height glass walls and windows to infuse the design with the natural beauty of a magnificent setting.
Situated in Killiney Hill, above Killiney Bay, just outside of Dublin, the villa was devised to maximise this light and space. Inspired by the work of Mies van der Rohe, it sits on the site of Lt. Col. E. Watson’s large 1906 estate, but was completely rebuilt in 2007 by architects Smith and Kennedy, and renovated in 2014 to bring the level of finish and amenities on par with the dramatic architecture and impressive location. The result is a Modernist masterpiece, sitting proudly in 1.03 acres of private parkland; an iconic design statement transformed into a flexible and beautiful family home.
At 637 square metres, Hendre is surprisingly spacious for a modernist home. Deliberately designed to provide communal and private spaces for both work and leisure, it is both a family and corporate space without either function intruding onto the other. Throughout, a passion for clean-lined elegance is evident. Marble and solid walnut flooring, honed German limestone from the Jura Alps, porcelain Azuliber tiles from Spain and Little Green paint finishes have been hand-picked to create an elegantly contemporary yet welcoming aesthetic that is a beautiful complement to the striking architecture.
It is also a house that has been designed to work with its surroundings. Three floors cascade down a sylvan sloping site to ensure that almost every room looks out over the sweeping coastal panorama. At the garden level, four ensuite bedrooms offer a calm and tranquil retreat. Beautifully designed and finished with walnut flooring and either a walk-in dressing room or fitted wardrobe, each one features garden or sea views, and the largest has direct access to a terrace. At this level, the rooms are separated from the living spaces and Master Suite, and are ideally situated for both children or guests to have privacy and quiet within easy access of a wide selection of luxury amenities: large home cinema, office with double desk space, private conference room, gym, and spa bathroom with sauna and steam room.
On the Mezzanine, a fluid layout means that each space can be used either separately or interconnected. Here, the outside truly comes in, in a series of rooms that celebrate the interplay between design and setting. Huge, three-metre ceilings in the dining room and drawing room celebrate the space within the house, while expansive views are framed by floor-to-ceiling windows. Outside, a huge 118 square-metre entertaining terrace is accessed from all three main rooms on the Mezzanine floor. Fully wired with speakers and fitted with integrated lighting, it is a seamless extension of the beautifully designed living spaces within.
Opening directly onto this terrace is the drawing room and bar. Designed as both a place to relax and a place to entertain, it also features a smaller terrace to the east, accessed by a second set of large French windows. Connected to this living area is the central dining room, large enough to cater for a table of 16. Beautiful marble flooring, recessed lighting and a Faber log-effect gas fire create a warm, inviting ambience, with coastal views through full-height picture windows.
Of course, a beautiful dining space deserves the finest food. The spacious kitchen is professionally equipped with Gaggenau appliances, including Gaggenau induction hob and extractor, Gaggenau steam oven, double Gaggenau ovens, and Gaggenau fridge. The neutral palette of the house is realised in cream Siematic cupboards and a stunning polished stone countertop, which stretches over a central island and breakfast bar. Floor-to-ceiling windows look out over the balcony towards the gardens and sea. This is really the heart of the house, a space perfectly suited to both large-scale private entertaining and more intimate family moments.
The first floor is reserved for Master Suite, allowing for the utmost flexibility in living and working, with two bedrooms, an ensuite bathroom, dressing room with atrium glass ceiling, and additional W.C. Both bedrooms are finished with walnut flooring and recessed lighting, and each has its own private sun terrace. The entire floor has been thoughtfully designed to adapt to the ever-changing needs of business and family, without sacrificing the luxury and comfort that is the hallmark of the entire house.
Part of what makes Hendre so special is the privacy it affords in such a desirable location — not only within the walls, but also as an entire estate. The property has two entrance points accessed by double electric gates: a main entrance on St. George’s Avenue, and a utility access for services and deliveries from Glenalua Road with direct access to the Kitchen and Utility Kitchen. Ample parking includes space for multiple cars in the grounds and a spacious double garage.
It also boasts over an acre of parklands surrounding the house. Designed to complement the contemporary style of the architecture without detracting from the impressive setting, they are filled with a selection of minimalist, contemporary and low-maintenance rockery-style gardens, specimen-grade mature trees, herbaceous borders, and grass areas, sensitively blending the old with the new. At the centre lies an antique coach house that dates back to the early 20th century origins of the estate, a beautiful reminder of the house’s history and a potential opportunity for further residential development.
St George’s Avenue is a quiet cul-de-sac off Killiney Hill Road, 1km from Killiney village and 2km from Dalkey village. Killiney and Dalkey villages have a large range of boutiques, cafes, restaurants, shops and recreational facilities. There are a number of schools easily accessible including Holy Child Killiney, Castle Park School Dalkey, Willow Park, Blackrock College and St Andrews. Killiney DART stations is within 1km of the property and numerous bus routes service the area. Despite the peaceful location, Dublin city centre is just 14km and Dublin airport is 26km. Entry onto the M50 is just 1km from the property making Hendre the ideal home for the whole family.