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Within the Brecon Beacons National Park we were commissioned to design a large family house next to an historic house. 


The site was originally the kitchen garden of an historic country house near the small village of Llangynidr with the Brecon Beacons to the west and Black mountains to the east. The brief was to design a contemporary large sustainable house for family which fully exploited the views of the mountains.


Our approach was to create a courtyard house which had the living areas upstairs and bedrooms on the ground floor. The courtyard form is typical of the large houses and farms of the area as it gives protection from the elements as well as a sense of enclosure and focus to large complex buildings. On entering the site  directly into the courtyard which has the buildings on three sides, a swimming pool to the east, hallway to the north and bedroom wing to the west. The hallway has a central curved staircase to the upper floor and guest wing, pool area and bedroom wing off it on the ground floor. There are three bedrooms with ensuite facilities that overlook a small stream and the fields beyond. The two main bedrooms have frameless bay windows to enable the children to sit within them to read or study. On the first floor there is an open living, dining and kitchen areas. The first floor is orientated so that the east facade faces the iconic Sugar Loaf mountain and the west faces the Black mountains. The north elevation is almost completely glazed facing the open countryside and there is a small picture window and solar sliding screen overlooking the courtyard to the south.


The external design is strongly contrasting to the traditional manor house next door with rendered facades to the ground floor, welsh blue grey slate stone on the first floor and large openings.

Location: Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales

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