Dubbed in the local Welsh tongue as 'Carreg a Gwydr', the title of this house translates to 'stone and glass', and it will soon become apparent why. There are many special features about this home, the first of which is the landscape it is located upon. Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covering the Wye Valley, Severn Estuary and south Monmouthshire, the home boasts a secretive, secluded location with incredible panoramic views. The design, which replaces an existing dwelling, is now a phenomenal L-shaped property made up of transparent and natural materials that pay homage to the beauty of the landscape. It comes as no surprise that this home by Hall Bednarczyk Architects has picked up a score of residential architecture awards. So, without further ado, let's take a look…
Photography by Matt Cant.
This home in Wales boasts unparalleled views of its surroundings, a whole 270 degrees of them, to be precise. What's interesting is that even though almost the entire façade of this house is glass, the reflective nature of the surface still provides the occupants with some privacy. The sliding doors on the ground floor open up almost entirely to the patio, with the first floor treated to a wrap around balcony to enjoy the same experience.
The rear of of the property reveals a totally different colour set and material palette to that of the front. Living in a house that is largely made up of glass can be daunting, so it's important that some element of privacy is maintained. In this instance, guests are greeted with a somewhat different view and will be totally blown away when they see the rear!
Before we step inside, we can better understand the material finishes of the house by taking a look at the floor plan. The thick black line weights represent the solid masonry and timber clad walls pictured above, where as the faint, thin line weights denote the transparent glass surfaces of the house. As you can see, the intimate areas such as the bathroom have been placed inside the private confines of the brick walls, versus the open plan kitchen, dining and lounge area which have access to the incredible views of the surrounding property.
The kitchen is a melange of sunny colours and sleek surfaces, complemented by a stellar view of the landscape outside. Cooking and washing the dishes need not be a mundane and boring task as the occupants can stare off into the distance and lose themselves in the moment. Though this space is bathed in natural light, a row of spotlights have bee added above the cooktop and work surfaces to ensure all cooking tasks can be completed in an abundance of light.
From this angle, we're able to make sense of the expansive open plan nature of the combined dining and living room. What isn't apparent from the floor plan is the sculptural quality of the staircase, which almost like origami, wraps it way up to the second floor. A real sense of design has been considered even when it comes to the safety features of the staircase, which as you can see, the balustrades and barriers have been cleverly built from glass to ensure the transparent nature of the home remains undisturbed even inside.
Lastly, but definitely not least, we finish up the tour inside the bedroom. With a view as stunning as this, it makes sense that you'd want to make the most of it. So, as you're drifting off into the land of nod, or opening your eyes to the sunrise, you can be sure to feel at ease. It may not be the case for many, but occupants can rest assured they'll wake up with a smile on their faces.
To see another stunning home with equally a view for miles, check out the following ideabook: A house with endless views