Stephen Waldron Architects was appointed by Mr and Mrs Edwards in the centre of Ponsticill, Brecon Beacons National Park. The brief from was to alter and extend the house to give it the WOW! Factor. Works would only proceed if the clients were convinced this could be done, otherwise, they would relocate.
There are a wide range of challenges on this site. Whilst it commands a wonderful view down the steep valley towards the south – thus facing the sun and the dramatic landscape – a series of extensions on the south side effectively blocked any real benefit of these views (apart from the last extension which is a conservatory that is too hot in summer and too cold in winter).
Our clients also wanted a further two bedrooms plus an additional bathroom and ensuite to the master bedroom. They also needed space in the garage for a third car as well as martial arts training equipment since Mr Edwards was heavily involved locally in training others in the sport. Finally, the entire building needed to be far more thermally insulated and efficient to run than it currently is.
Although it is hard to believe from the illustrations, the original house is retained, with the southern extensions and side access porch removed. The new conceptual house is created by two enclosing linear wings on the east and west sides of the house and a full-height atrium adjacent to the staircase, with a water feature flowing from inside to out.
This creates two large open-plan areas on either side of, and through, the main house, each with fantastic views to the south, looking downwards through the valley. The wings provide a very private space to the rear of the house with plenty of room to relax and admire the landscape in privacy.
The front roof over the garage is extended, and the two bedrooms that lie behind are now larger and whilst they previously could only look sideways before, are now provided with dormers looking north.
The design also provides for a small office area and a substantial master bedroom suite with a walk-in wardrobe. A games room lies at the centre of the plan.
The first ideas presented to the client were received so enthusiastically that our clients instructed us to proceed immediately!
Building anything contemporary and visionary within the Brecon Beacons National Park is always a challenge, and so we submitted a pre-application enquiry to BBNP in early summer 2021, before submitting the main planning application.