Stormy Castle is a contemporary private house in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on a hillside on the Gower peninsula designed by Welsh-based Architects Loyn & Co. The local couple who commissioned the practice wanted a fulltime, lifetime home that made the most of the wonderful views and topography, with minimal impact on the rural landscape.
Following the contours of the land, much of the 800m2 building was sunk into the sloping site. This created enclosed spaces and courtyards, including a sunken ‘Secret Courtyard’. An existing Barn and Old School House were incorporated into the new building, with care taken to weave together the new and old and ensure light penetrated deep into the sunken spaces.
Concrete and Corten, a metal cladding, were chosen to reflect the local farm buildings and blend with the bracken in nearby fields. Flat ‘green’ planted roofs improved insulation and created useable terraces on the hillside. Manicured areas of garden were restricted to the courtyards, while the remainder was left as wild hillside, meadow or heath land.
To achieve a Code Level 4 replacement dwelling on a sensitive rural site.
Code for Sustainable homes level 5
EPC certificate rating A
Air tightness of 1.26 m3/hr/m2/50Pa
Actual Building Emissions Rate -0.46 Kg/m2
Winner of various awards including RIBA Manser Medal 2014 and Eisteddfod Gold Medal
The Environmental Features
- Turf roofs reduce massing, visibility and impact on the surrounding environment
- Allowing areas to grow wild ensures minimal visual impact on the rural setting
- Photovoltaic solar panels
- Solar thermal Panels
- Ground source heat pump
- Rainwater harvesting system
- Wood-burning stoves
- Low energy LED lighting scheme