Island House Cardiff


You would be forgiven for thinking that ‘Island House’ was located on a faraway island - quite the contrary. The name of the home holds relevance as it plays to notions of solitude and the desire for separation between a busy city and our clients' desire for an inner homeworld.

To design a house in the city and its suburbs demands a different approach to a house in the countryside. In open country, landscape is context. In the city, context is often ‘other buildings’.

The desire for our clients to create an internalised world of peace and tranquillity drew us to consider the idea of a plinth as an isolated object for dwelling, like an island in the city. A metaphor that suggests isolation to the noise and bustle of city life.

A basement parking void underneath the house extends to the perimeter of the home and acts as a moat. Creating the illusion that the building is floating within the site itself, while the first-floor volume cantilevers into space, creating an impactful spatial sequence on arrival.

The front facade has the potential for two personalities. This all depends on whether the first floor’s adaptable aluminium screens are open or closed. The flexibility of this first-floor facade offers the family complete control of the appearance and feel of the home.

The internal plan is a language of balance, elegance and restraint. Two central cores for storage upon entry frame a single helical spiral stair, signifying fluidity and grace. This stair acts as a spine and grounds the open plan space. All walls are white with little reference to materiality to create a feeling of an abstract dream. Beyond are views of the dining table and the wider garden. All set up on a perfect symmetrical axis reminiscent of the Palladian villas of the Veneto region in Northen Italy.

Hyde + Hyde

Kristian Hyde