Castle High is located within Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The traditional Welsh farm is centred around a courtyard providing protection from the constant South-Westerly Atlantic Storms that push over an ancient landscape. The abandoned farm buildings themselves remain relatively unchanged since the early 1800’s.
The practice was approached to refurbish the outbuildings and provide a luxurious and practical contemporary home to replace an existing out-dated and 1960’s house. Our proposal would complete the courtyard and provide a sustainable lifestyle for the family, by utilising passive architectural strategies and low carbon technologies and a deeply rooted poetic response to place.
Early farming acknowledged the fundamental necessity to turn away from the wind to create a habitable environment to cultivate crops and protect farm animals. Our proposal reinforces the defensibility of the existing outbuildings and reawakens an otherwise sleeping courtyard.
The exposed site calls for a building material and stereotomic language that can endure years of constant erosion from driving wind and rain.
The new home itself is built from white fair-faced concrete, inspired by the enduring nature of a smooth pebble found along the shoreline. These glacial debris reminds us of what mass can endure through time, yet it still feels smooth to the touch. The plastic nature of concrete also allows us to push limits not allowed by stone. Creating a simple language that recalls the deep brooding reveals of farmhouse windows in the region.
- Architects Journal Published Aug 2012 18 October, 2012, by Laura Mark