Ancient Rome gets Bauhaus treatment in unique €4m Rathfarnham dwelling

This year, museums and art galleries throughout the world are celebrating the centenary of Bauhaus, the school of design founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius in Weimar, Germany

28th July, 2019
Bauhaus on 16 Stocking Lane in Rathfarnham, Dublin 16

This year, museums and art galleries throughout the world are celebrating the centenary of Bauhaus, the school of design founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius in Weimar, Germany.

Gropius’s vision grew into a movement that revolutionised architecture with its radical focus on pared-down form and function, as opposed to the overt decoration that had characterised domestic architecture for centuries.

A Protected Structure since 2004, and arguably the most austere domestic dwelling in Ireland, Bauhaus on 16 Stocking Lane in Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, is now on the market with a guide price of €4 million. The architectural forms are a brick cube and a concrete cylinder.

It is directly modelled on an archaic house type that was reinvented for a 20th-century lifestyle, the idea being to provide as much shelter as possible for outdoor living.

The plan is that of a domus, the atrium house type of ancient Rome, designed to look inwards. In a domus, the semi-roofed atrium with its middle left open to the sky for light and air, was the most important room of the house. Slanted roofs sloped inwards, with rainwater draining from the roof into the middle of the atrium.

Designed in 1963 by Cologne architects Joachim and Margot Schürmann for Joachim’s brother and sister-in-law sculptors Gerda Fromel and Werner Schürmann, Bauhaus was built on a 3.5-acre sloping site 200 metres south of Woodtown Park, close to the stable courtyard where Werner had his bronze-casting foundry. Gerda and Werner shared Joachim’s view of the landscape as raw and unmade, a sort of frontier land right on their back doorstep.

The two brothers built it by hand, without machinery, from salvaged materials such as reject over-burnt red bricks, redundant telegraph poles and old lamp posts to surround the atrium.

Around the atrium, the 476-square-metre interior is one continuous open-plan space. Through the front door you find yourself in a spacious marble-floored hallway with a cloakroom and WC. Sliding glass doors lead to the family living space, which comprises a large timber-floored living room with a fireplace and sliding doors to the atrium. The kitchen has fossil limestone tile flooring, top-of-the-range units, a central island with breakfast bar, and a dining area. There’s also a nursery/playroom, four small children’s bedroom cubicles and a glamorous marble bathroom.

A strip along the north-east side of the house was designed for what was Gerda’s studio, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the garden, and the master bedroom with its walk-in wardrobe and large bathroom.

In the grounds, a set of gates leads to a completely self-contained one-bedroom apartment consisting of a large living room, fully fitted kitchen, utility room, boiler house, bathroom and bedroom.

Sold in 2006, Bauhaus underwent considerable renovation. It was rewired and replumbed, and the kitchen and bathrooms were upgraded.

Stocking Lane has changed somewhat since the Schürmanns first arrived. It’s still secluded, but the roadways have been improved, there are new bus routes to the city centres and it has direct access to the M50.

Local amenities include shopping at nearby Woodstown, Knocklyon SC, Rathfarnham SC and Dundrum Town Centre. Ballyboden St Enda’s GAA club is minutes away, and it’s a popular area for walking at the nearby Hell Fire Club and Marlay Park.

For more information, contact Karen Mulvaney of Coldwell Banker Estates at 01-4110012.

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