A modernist icon that also comes with a nice little bonus. That’s the Ronald Tallon-designed Tallon House in Dublin, Ireland.
Dating back to the 1960s (specifically 1969) and winner of the RIAI triennial housing medal for 1971-73, it sits to the side of the Foxrock Golf Club, a ‘wilderness’ location and former quarry picked out by the architect.
That sounds more brutal than it should as this spot was more nature spot than a rocky location – with some of that greenery still present today, sheltering the house from prying eyes.
As for the architecture, well you can see the obvious inspiration there. Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House is the first design that likely springs to mind, a pavilion-inspired house with that steel frame and walls of glass.
But this is far from simply a tribute to that house. It’s a unique piece of modern architecture that features on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. As such, this is a rare opportunity to pick up a notable piece of modernist architecture in this part of the world.
At first glance, you might think that the house has been left unchanged for over 50 years. And in some ways, that is the case. The structure itself has been preserved, with only the greenery surrounding it likely to have impacted over the years.
Well, not quite. The original house has been twice extended with individual extensions at the ends, with both stepped back from the original facades, so that, both ‘visually and conceptually’, the original house is intact. Clever design.
The first extension is made up of an en-suite dressing room and bathroom added to the bedrooms at both ends, with a studio later added to the west gable of the house.
The entire house is glazed to the north and south with continuous full-height sliding glass panels, which are set back from the steel frame to create one long timber terrace on both sides of the house.
That means a view to the north over the aforementioned golf course and a south view towards the Dublin mountains. All that glazing also gives an impression of the interior spaces being part of the stunning landscape, with iroko decks connecting the terraces to the lawns.
As for the interior, that has been updated in terms of the finish, but still follows the same design principles of the original build, with the living part at one end and the bedrooms at the other.
Fairly open space too, with internal partitions that never touch the glass defining the rooms/zones.
Those rooms are an entrance lobby with a built-in desk unit, the main bedroom with a wardrobe divide, the living room with an open fireplace, a dining area, and a contemporary kitchen space with Poggenpohl units and a Gaggenau cooker. There’s a trap door underneath to a basement, along with a separate utility room.
Beyond that is a study/family room that opens onto the garden, an en-suite, dressing room, two further bedrooms with wardrobes, and a family bathroom.
As I said, the outside space is a big feature of this one too. Originally the site was known as ‘Hurley’s Plantation’ and in the words of Ronald Tallon was ‘a two-acre wilderness adjoining the golf course’.
It is now well-maintained and totally private gardens that offer an oasis of calm as well as being appealing scenery through the windows of the main house. Substantial too, with the site covering something like two acres.
Mature trees and a large expanse of lawns make up the bulk of it, with the site also offering a detached garage and separate studio room.
Talking of extra buildings, this house also comes with The Gate Lodge. In the early 1980s, a separate detached gate lodge was added at the entrance to the grounds, which was similar in style to the main house.
It has a living/dining/kitchen area, two bedrooms (the main one being en-suite), and a bathroom. Plenty of opportunities there, not least substantial and stylish guest accommodation.
Of course, all of that comes at a price. If you want to be the next owner of Tallon House then you will need to make an offer around the €3,750,000 mark.
Images and details courtesy of Sherry Fitzgerald. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website.