Gower Contemporary Architecture

Since 2006 we have been constructing award-winning residences across the UK from the North of England and Wales, through to Wiltshire, Devon and as East as Suffolk. We have looked at projects globally from Western Canada, Switzerland, Spain and the Netherlands and have worked extensively in London and San Francisco. 

Out of all these locations, a nexus of carefully crafted homes has appeared on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales, meticulously designed contemporary architecture constructed by our studio. Below we take you on a brief overview of our projects in this region along with the national recognition they have each achieved. 

 
 

Pennard House

Our first residence completed back in 2008 was Pennard House, expressed in a contemporary aesthetic. The home references local vernacular typologies and agricultural buildings, as well as providing large expanses of glass that connect to a private courtyard, all finished with a 25m lap pool that extends into the garden. The home is hidden away on the outskirts of a small settlement on South Gower. The project went on to win the following awards and publicity:

  • Best Contemporary House
    Daily Telegraph Homebuilding & Renovating Awards

  • Best of Welsh Design for the Built Environment
    Cardiff Design Festival

  • Plaque of Merit
    National Eisteddfod

  • RIBA Design Awards 2010
    Shortlisted

  • Case Study
    Design Commission for Wales

 
 
 
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Idle Rocks

In Langland, we refurbished a tired 1960’s home with a fantastic name ‘Idle Rocks’ into a dynamic modern home, with a clean language of glass and cantilevers that expressed a certain coastal aesthetic of heightened drama and exposed cool steel lines. Large balconies and flush timber decks with level thresholds promoted vitality and refined luxury. Completed in 2010, the project was shortlisted for the following awards:

  • RIBA Design Awards 2010
    Shortlisted

  • National Eisteddfod Wales
    Shortlisted

  • Case Study
    Design Commission for Wales

 
 
 
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Cliff House

Cliff House is located in Southgate on the Southern end of the peninsula. As the name suggests it's found poised on a plateau, a stone's throw away from the edge of a limestone cliff that plunges into a wild sea where the Bristol Channel meets the Atlantic. Cedar cladding protects the residence and shields our clients from passing storms. One of the most compact eco-homes we have created. But don’t let the size fool you, Cliff House went on to win one of the most prestigious awards in the industry and gathered a plethora of accolades. The appeal of its size, exceptional energy performance and low-cost construction seems to have stimulated public interest in the project, as can be seen from its appearance on numerous tv programmes, online and in print. 

  • RIBA National Award
    Winner

  • Royal Society of Architects Wales Award
    Winner

  • Dezeen
    Online Journal

  • ArchDaily
    Online Journal

  • Architects Journal
    Publication

  • Manser Medal
    Nominated

 
 
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California House

California House revels in its seclusion, located in a valley not far from a small village called Penclawdd on the Northern edge of Gower and at the foot of the Loughour estuary. Designed for a couple relocating from a lifetime in the Western United States. The home floats above a varied and challenging landscape and occupies a territory of silence among tree canopies and distant vistas of tall grassed fields. Construction was completed in 2017 and we are looking forward to sharing the project with the world.

 
 
 

Silver House

Our most recent project on Gower is Silver House. Completed in 2018 and designed for a family relocating home from time working in London and abroad. A truly luxury residence with a recording studio in the basement and an upper living deck of open-plan space, sliding screens and natural light abundance. All open to a balcony deck, providing panoramic views towards Devon and Oxwich Bay. The project was recognised nationally through the following awards. 

  • RSAW Welsh Architecture Award 2017

  • RSAW Building of the Year Award 2017

  • RSAW Client of the Year Award 2017

  • Building Design Magazine
    Published 22nd February 2013, by Cate St Hill

  • Architecture.com
    Published June 2017

  • Shortlisted for the Stephen Lawerence award

  • LABC award regional and national

 

The Gower Peninsula is a remarkable place and a world within its own, rightly recognised as an area of outstanding natural beauty. We are honoured to build in these sensitive locations and are working to refine our work and its ecological impact. Creating low energy eco homes, truly bespoke to fit our client's lives.

The above projects have had a significant impact on the quality our clients lives and allowed them to live in a unique home that reflects their lifestyle, rituals and passions.

The nuances and metaphor we create in each home are beyond the scope of this article. But recently in an interesting turn of events, we were lucky to have reason to return to these homes with a film crew and see first-hand these subtleties.

Going back was a humbling experience. Seeing the homes being lived in, keeping the rain out and the warmth in. Yet there was something much more taking place, a sort of kinship and silent understanding between architect and client. Forged from collective experience - knowing that architecture’s true potential lay in the 'every day' where it creates and provides simple moments of clarity and beauty beyond words.

 

Words
Kristian Hyde