Clean living in the treetops of Milltown

It may not come as a surprise to learn that the vendor of 43 Temple Hall in the upmarket Mount St Anne’s development in Milltown, Dublin 6, which adjoins the grounds of Alexandra College, is an award-winning architectural photographer.

Roger O’Sullivan was named Architectural Photographer of the Year by the Irish Professional Photographers and Videographers Association in 2018 and works mainly with architects, interior designers, engineers and construction companies. In 2010, he was already living in a rental apartment in the converted former schoolhouse in the Mount St Anne’s development when he decided that it was time to buy.

“I thought architects O’Mahony Pike had done a great job, incorporating all the existing mature trees into the development, and there was a sense of quality to the place that I appreciated. The grounds are beautifully maintained.”

Roger bought his apartment in the first block of phase two of the development, which had lain empty since its construction owing to the financial crisis. He viewed every unsold unit before settling on No 43, a corner apartment distinguished by an abundance of light thanks to its dual-aspect open-plan living space.

“On the worst winter’s day,” says Roger, “this was airy and bright.”

And as the rain pelts down outside on a dismal late summer day, No 43 is anything but gloomy. Though located on the first floor of the building, it feels as if it is much higher up thanks to the elevated nature of the site. The two-bedroom apartment is surrounded by treetops and overlooks the original redbrick convent building, now also converted into apartments.

“The trees are the backdrop to life in the apartment,” says Roger, who has photographed them in each of the four seasons during the time that he has lived here – in bud, in full leaf, when the colours change and bare, covered in snow. A nature-lover, he is now hoping to move to a house with its own garden.

“I make a living rearranging furniture,” he says, “and I knew that I wanted a clean, contemporary space that was uncluttered. I wanted to preserve the feeling of space that had attracted me in the first place. The airiness really wowed me. I took inspiration from a hotel suite that I’d seen in one of the Roger Moore James Bond films, which had a retro, pared-back aesthetic.

“The last thing I wanted to do was fill it with things to distract from the great space. I worked with an interior designer who suggested a simple sofa and two complementary leather chairs rather than the two sofas that I’d been thinking of, and she was right. I went for a neutral carpet on the floor in the living area to create a space that was distinct from the kitchen, and commissioned a bespoke dining table to fit the window.”

The smart kitchen has a polished natural stone tiled floor, granite counters, and a full range of integrated appliances including a Neff oven, electric hob and extractor, and an integrated Bosch dishwasher.

Roger has no curtains or blinds on the windows in the living area, adding to the sense of light and space, and two balconies off the living space provide spillover space for entertaining. The sense of peace and tranquility is due in no small part to the fact that Roger is a tidy person – there is zero clutter, with just a few books on architecture and photography on display.

The apartment has an entrance hall with polished natural stone flooring, off which are two double bedrooms.

The main bedroom is en suite, and opens out on to one of the balconies. It has fitted wardrobes, a fitted wool carpet and large picture window. The en suite has a double shower cubicle with tiled wall and a vanity unit with a polished stone counter.

The second bedroom is another large double with floor-to-ceiling windows, fitted wardrobes, and a fitted wool carpet. The family bathroom has a bath with shower attachment overhead; the utility room is plumbed for a washing machine and there is a handy linen cupboard.

The clean lines of the apartment are undisturbed by radiators as there is underfloor heating throughout, provided by a Bosch gas condensing boiler, while double-glazed Rationel windows and doors contribute to a BER of B3.

No 43 comes with a designated secure underground parking space, and private gated pedestrian access from the development direct to the Luas stop at Milltown, from where the journey to St Stephen’s Green takes just 11 minutes; new owners may decide that owning a car is unnecessary.

Milltown village has a large Spar, a wonderful flower shop, The Enchanted Florist, and the popular Wilde & Green cafe and food shop with a large outdoor terrace. Restaurants within walking distance include The Butcher Grill, Nightmarket and Host in Ranelagh.

Roger says that one of his favourite things about the location is the ease of access to the River Dodder walk.

“I particularly like the stretch from Milltown to Clonskeagh,” he says. “You could be in Inistioge, it’s so peaceful and there is so much wonderful birdlife. You would not think you are in Dublin 6.”

Era: 2007

Size: 74sqm

Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 4969909

Viewing: By appointment

Sunday Independent

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