Belfast Telegraph

Yours for £395k - Torre Blanca house designed by Belfast architect Adair Roche

By Stephanie Bell

One of only two houses known to have been designed by famous Belfast architect Louis Adair Roche has just gone on the market.

Torre Blanca, on the outskirts of Laurelvale in Craigavon, is a modernist home which stood out for its unique design when it was built in the 1960s - and still does today.

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The property, which is mentioned alongside historic cathedrals, monuments and mansions in the book Buildings of Armagh, features an unusual tower and a full-sized heated swimming pool.

Its name Torre Blanca (white tower) derives from the three storey square tower which is the centrepiece of the design.

Forward thinking architect Louis Adair Roche is most famous for his landmark yellow tower at Belfast City Hospital.

Roche, originally from Cork, studied at Portora Royal School in Enniskillen and joined the leading Belfast architectural firm Munce and Kennedy in 1957. He moved to London to establish his own firm ISER but commuted regularly to an office in Belfast.

Roche passed away in 2014. His legacy remains in the distinctive avant garde buildings he designed, including this striking home at 65 Mullavilly Road, Tandragee.

It looks distinctive from the front with its unusual square tower and red roof but also from the back, where the tower stands proud behind a striking glazed conservatory housing the swimming pool. The interior, too, is ahead of its time, with an open plan design and extensive use of natural wood and floor to ceiling windows which are the preferred choice of contemporary architects today.

In the Sixties, when en suites were unheard of and family bathrooms still a luxury, Roche was already adding extra bathing facilities and the house boasts two en suites and two shower rooms. Also inside is a spacious and bright drawing room, a living room which opens to a dining area, fitted kitchen, utility room, reading room and four bedrooms.

The magnificent heated swimming pool and Jacuzzi complex is encased in a striking glass room at the back of the property which has been modernised by the current owners with self-cleaning double glazed windows.

The house, which invites offers of over £395,000, sits on a mature site with extensive gardens and a detached garage with a games room. Even its location has a claim to fame. It is believed to occupy a site which was part of McGredy's Rose Garden - famous for supplying flowers for the Queen's Coronation.

William Liddle, area director for Templeton Robinson, the property selling agents, says: "This property, which is 50 years old, was very much ahead of its time."

He added: "We're delighted to have such a prestigious property on our listings."

Belfast Telegraph


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