Water Reservoir to Modern Home in Co. Down

Posted: by August 16th, 2017

This site for sale with full Planning permission in Hillsborough, County Down has captured our attention!

From an unused, half buried water reservoir to a high efficiency modern home – it’s not every day you see an architectural design so unique and sympathetic – so we had to explore this further.

Currently For Sale on the Old Coach Road, Hillsborough, the design already passed and stamped by Planning, enables a seamless blend into the surrounding environment.

However, this is no ordinary site! It was the existence of a thick concrete water reservoir, half buried on site that formed the basis for a Planning Application to transform it into a modern, high efficiency home. 

The site occupies an elevated location, on the periphery of Hillsborough with surrounding views of the town and countryside.  PropertyPal caught up with the architect behind the design – Colin McAuley.


“The primary focus of our client’s brief was to deliver a unique, cost effective and energy efficient home,” Colin said.  “Aesthetically, our ambition was to ensure the final design respected its historic utilitarian character by retaining as much of the imposing grass embankments as possible, partially exposing the eastern corner of the tank along with a section of the original cast iron pipework, and a portion of the south westerly façade with lightweight glazing to allow a generous amount of daylight to penetrate the living spaces and maximise solar gain throughout the course of the day.”

Old Coach Road, Hillsborough


“Placing the living spaces at first floor/entrance level and partial glazing of the north and south eastern facades exposes and maximises the breathtaking views on offer from this elevated site over the historic town of Hillsborough to the north, connecting the interior of the building to its surrounding countryside.

Old Coach Road, Hillsborough 3

“Both the grassed roof and north western embankment remain intentionally undisturbed to secure privacy from the adjoining pedestrian access and public road; minimise disturbance to the ancient hedgerow, promote biodiversity, and to ensure the character of the building to its sole public viewpoint was retained, thereby creating a design which is seamlessly integrated with its historic landscape surroundings.”

Old Coach Road, Hillsborough

To see Colin McAuley’s project portfolio visit Colin McAuley Planning Facebook Page.

Visit PropertyPal Old Coach Road, Hillsborough for more site information.


Leave a Reply