Wilson McMullen Architects, Portrush, Portstewart, Coleraine, County Antrim

Copy of Grill House, Contemporary House, Antrim

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This is a spacious contemporary house design, set within a densely wooded site in County Antrim. The client’s brief for this two storey family home, was to create an eye catching modern design, simple and elegant in form with contemporary styling.  It was to maximise its location, exploiting the densely wooded views, maximising natural light and sunlight,  and connect physically and visually with its external spaces. We explored several design options on the site to ensure the client was satisfied that we had chosen the best location for their home.

The final design is a building that has an elegant and simple L-shape footprint with all rooms enjoying a Southerly aspect. The home is accessed via a double height atrium space with a fully glazed southerly aspect onto the garden beyond. On the two South Facing corners we have located the main open plan kitchen, dining, living space and master bedroom. These two feature corners enjoy panoramic views and direct connection with a South facing terrace, via sliding doors. Bedrooms are located on the Eastern side of the site with the main open plan space orientated to benefit from warm sunlight throughout the day.  Utilitarian spaces for bathrooms, utility rooms and a pantry, are located to the North.

The client specifically asked to have a roof terrace with a cantilevered roof and outside fireplace adjacent to a first floor living space,  so that they could enjoy the late summer evenings for longer. The cantilevered roof gives a sense of enclosure and protection to this private terrace and creates a place to entertain or just relax with the family throughout the day. The fully glazed balcony system ensures clear views from this terrace over the wooded site.

A double garage and storage space wraps around the North Western side of the house and creates a sheltered car port,  giving covered access for parking and accessing the rear door into the kitchen / pantry area, as well as through access between the garage and house under cover.

The palette of materials for the house is restrained. The use of stone on the North East entrance facade draws on the presence of the existing natural stone boundary walls, grounding the house in its site.  The introduction of lighter materials, in the form of white render and timber cladding, helps to break up the buildings massing, soften its visual appearance and create a simple modern aesthetic. To the rear, the building comes alive with feature corner windows to the main living spaces and master bedroom, and a double height glazed space around the feature entrance and staircase.

Construction was in traditional masonry construction with a  full fill insulation board giving very high levels of energy efficiency. The roof is a mixture of a highly insulated zinc roof and a series of lower single ply membrane roofing systems with a stone ballast and artifical grass covering.  Stonework was sourced locally with Western Red Cedar timber cladding helping to lighten up the elevation. Windows and doors are a triple glazed composite wooden / aluminium system, with a set of large sliding doors to the two main living spaces.

Planning permission was granted in 2013 and the project was completed on-site in June 2015.