WiW: Maytree, Bray Road, Enniskerry, Wicklow

Of the two houses I refer to above, the Scott Tallon Walker house is c. 15.3m x 9.3m (i.e. owners of Goulding Summerhouse have over 9.3m of width), while the Villa Abborrkroken main room is 15m x 7m (narrower but makes up for it by being almost all plate glass). A 5m width wall in a 12.5m room is too small - especially in this type of house, where it is the only living area, there is a lot of concrete walls (unlike the Mies-type pure glass houses you list above), and they had no space constraints. They only have a normal three seater sofa and it almost takes the full width ? For me, that is just bad architecture and use of space. I think they picked a modern design out of a book but didn’t really understand how to apply it, or how someone would live in it.

FLW used the cantilever to create an amazing sense of a waterfall / terracing over several stories (to match the waterfall it was built beside). These guys used it to create underground parking in a 1.5 acre site in the country? And because they used it, they couldn’t afford to expand the only living room area to a proper width. Given that MAYTREE is mostly poured concrete it would have cost 50k (max) to double the width of this room to 10m, if it wasn’t for the cantilever. I believe a 10m width would have a very positive effect on its chances of MAYTREE getting sold. What they did doesn’t make sense to me. Certainly wouldn’t merit an award.

There is a reason why this house is not selling. There are many ordinary houses in Enniskerry on less than 1 acre sites selling for the asking of MAYTREE. Check out Eagle Valley sales prices on <0.25 acre sites, in a big estate, with 1990s cheap mock McMansion construction (and these are really cheaply made houses with lots of plywood), for the c. 2,500 sq ft. versions. The reason MAYTREE is struggling to sell (and has been on for a long while), is because once people get over the initial wow factor of the external design, they can’t really take to it because it is badly designed. It is a sad day for Irish architecture, when a brand new architecturally designed modern house, on a big site, can’t outsell a 1990’s plywood and block, book-plan design in a large estate ?

Here is an example of someone using cantilevering in a crazy fashion, but, when you read it, you can see he created a very special experience (sense of hanging out in space in a wide open area - it even has glass in the floor), and the internal layout is very good with a 30 m x 7m (again not 5m) dimension for 210 sq m in total.

It might be on the crazy side of design, but at least you can see where they were coming from in using a cantilever in the middle of nowhere. But equally importantly, regardless of outside design, from an internal living point of view, they designed the 210 sq m of space properly. Maytree, in my opinion, is badly designed from a living point of view.

Yes I know that house. It pops up a lot on sites. It has won UK awards. Anyway all 3 examples you posted are all single volume houses and you are comparing them against a split volume house. I could understand your grievance if it was a single volume house but it is not. Your comment re cantelevered houses in the country came across to be a general comment and not just related to Maytree hence the FLW extreme example.

My apologies, I’m probably just ranting :slight_smile:

I do love modern houses. Never really got the Dublin addiction to period multi-level up and down houses.

My personal weakness is for period multi-level houses in the country. There’s something delightful about a house that rises up proud of the landscape, using outbuildings and walls to create a series of interesting spaces.

This is one of my favourite houses in Ireland:

Larah House, Ballon, County Carlow
myhome.ie/residential/brochu … ow/2855582

I’d buy it if I could live with the location.



That’s a virtual bidding war we’ve got going.

So Maytree appears in 21st Century Houses: 150 of the World’s Best - pages 254-255.
amazon.co.uk/21st-Century-Ho … 1864703814

And it also won a design award in 2008, apparently.

Clearly many architects, like art critics and those people who bang on about the characteristics of a particular vintage wine, are full of shit.

I like the house (mainly because it stands out from the typical bog standard dormer bungalow that blight the Irish landscape) but have to agree with Observer35 that cantilever design is poorly applied and the only communal living space is cramped as a result. Agree with Zuckerzeit too that is some of the photos the furniture is voluminous and inappropriate. Notwithstanding that though, as Observer35 points out, the primary aim/result of the cantilever is to create some parking space - on a 1.5acre site! Unforgivable and surely not worthy of an award and a place in a book proclaiming to showcase the world’s best architecture of the 21st Century?

Also think house should have been located elsewhere on the site as it is very close to the road and even worse very close to neighbouring house. Think it will sell for asking though. Will be interesting to see if it does and how long it takes.