Jollylands Green Giant – a barn-inspired extension completes the picture at the architect’s 3,400-square-foot family home

Jollylands, Kiltiernan, Co Dublin Price: € 1,495 million Dealer: DNG (01) 283 2700

Competent Secret Service agents will sometimes reveal their past lives, once a safe period has passed. In this way, the famous architect Stephen Newell today admits to having a secret double life that spanned more than 40 years.

“Ok, yes, I’m Tidy Towns surveyor. I was brought in by the organizers as early as 1979 and I thought I would only make it for a year. Of course I ended up with it until I gave it up about two years ago. ”

So if you think you recognize him, then yes, Stephen might actually be the suspicious-looking character you spotted that day, raving about town and seeing things.

His annual rate of 30 to 40 town assessments meant that Newell conducted on the order of 1,400 clandestine coverage of rural locations far and wide. So what did he learn from these secret missions?


A view of the Jollylands

“People in rural towns are divided, between the GAA or the Tidy Town. And each side is as fiercely competitive as the other,” Newell said. “I also learned that the best way to get the Irish out and get things going is to make it competitive; turn it into a contest”.

Tidy Towns has been a resounding success, transforming Ireland from a land of monochrome towns with plastic signs into a nation of sprawling settlements and spotless buildings. , monuments and features have been restored. And of course, petunia hanging baskets.

Due to nearing retirement from architecture, Stephen is now thinking of switching sides. “I might want to get involved again in campaign planning for the Tidy Town entry.”

Stephen and his wife Jane (nurse at a famous boarding school) are also about to remodel their large (3,400 sq ft) and happily named home, the Jollylands, located just outside Kilternan. It was designed by Stephen for their growing family.

Jane has never moved from her roots. “We built on the site of the dairy farm where I grew up,” she explains.

“My family bought it in 1932. We are completely self-sufficient here, we grow our own vegetables and fruits and we make our own butter. It was a charming existence.

When my family bought it, the address was Jolley Lands after the farmer who had owned it before.”

So is it easier or harder for Stephen to design a house for his own family? “It’s much harder,” he said.

“With customers there are always limits and budget constraints. In many ways, it’s easier to get inspired once you’ve determined the parameters to start with.

“And without even thinking about it, I automatically started treating Jane as my client. I would sit down with her and ask ‘how many bedrooms, how many kitchens’, etc.”

So what do customers want?

“I always wanted to have a budget house, no grand hall or anything like that, no formalities for visitors. It’s all about family,” said Jane.

“Because I grew up on a farm, the kitchen is very important and also a comfortable living room. I want a family-friendly home. “

Jollylands was started on the back of a box of tortillas on an unhappy holiday.

“We left Spain in the late 1990s and the weather was terrible. So we were stuck inside for days. Stephen cuts a box of tortillas and sits down to start sketching on it,” says Jane.

They completed the main part of the house in 2002. It still houses the 200-year-old restored cottage where Jane grew up and at the time it also had a round barn with a corrugated iron roof. zinc since the 1940s.

“We wanted to restore it, but nobody did and we ended up having to take it down,” Stephen said.

A few years later they extended the house again to offer a two-story wing with a large play/living room for the kids and treated themselves to a large bedroom suite above.

This apartment has a first floor balcony on one side and leads out to the garden on the other. They have a curved barn roof with a green thatch. “So the memory of the old barn is still here,” says Stephen.

Surrounded by farmland, walking paths and trails as well as the ruins of old lead mines at nearby Ballycorus (the two-room house was first built as a bakery for the mine), the house sits on 1.4 acres dotted with a number of original houses. outhouse built of stone.

There is a reception hall with entrance to the living room and there are double doors leading to the kitchen/diner. The ‘Blanc de Bierges’ staircase allows guests to go upstairs.

The living room has high ceilings and a wood-burning stove. The kitchen/dining room has a south-facing view, and overlooks the dual courtyards to the front. There is a boot and utility room and a bathroom.

The living/playroom is three-sided and features a storage room, a planter room, and a front-facing foyer with access to the courtyard.


Bathroom with picture view

On the first floor there are five double bedrooms with a large en-suite bathroom and overall walk-in closet plus a bridge leading to the garden via double doors. The family bathroom is also located on this floor. Jollylands recently achieved a high B2 BER rating, a surprise to the Newells.

The garden is in the lawn with the tennis court, the front yard and the cottage today has obvious income or potential as an office. Luas at Bride’s Glen is a four-kilometer walk away.

So is Jane taking on Stephen for the next big job? “He’ll definitely get the job,” she laughed.

DNG sought 1.495 million euros on their behalf. Jollylands Green Giant – a barn-inspired extension completes the picture at the architect’s 3,400-square-foot family home

Fry Electronics Team

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