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Hyde + Hyde wins planning for sunken courtyard home

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Swansea’s Hyde + Hyde Architects has won the go-ahead for this 140m2 ‘inward looking’ courtyard home on the Gower Peninsula in Wales

ARCHITECT’S VIEW • PROJECT DATA

The scheme in Langland Bay sits within a ’sunken basin with limited views and issues of overlooking’ from neighbouring houses.

Due to complete in 2017, the subterranean home features large ‘extruded aluminium light funnels’ projecting through the roof and allowing daylight into the spaces below.

Hyde + Hyde Architects - celestial section

Hyde + Hyde Architects - celestial section

Hyde + Hyde Architects - celestial section

Architect’s view

The idea of creating an internalized private world is a timeless idea. One that has been in use as long as people have lived in constructed dwellings.

In ancient Rome the impluvium is the sunken reflecting pool of the atrium in a Greek or Roman House. Designed to carry away the rainwater coming through the compluvium or the void within the courtyard opening.

The project introduces a similar poetic language that concentrates the focus of the courtyard and collects rainwater for harvesting. This becomes part of a dynamic play of rain water discharging into a central pool within the courtyard.

A large skylight is positioned above key living spaces such as the entry space, bedroom and living room. These project vertically above the grass roof plane to reinforce the buildings connection with the wider context of sky and cosmos.

Hydrological elements such as the changing weather patterns and clouds push over these portal volumes pointing to the sky above. At night and from the master bed, constellations can be seen tracing their arc from East to West across the Northern Hemisphere. 

The home is intimate at  140m2, yet connected to a grandeur through a subtle play of devices such as glazing and projecting roof volumes. The synergy of these create an appreciation for the micro and macro scales, conditions and relationships that are human and elemental in nature.

They are all focused in intensity and exist only because of the subterranean nature of the site itself.

Hyde + Hyde's sunken courtyard home

Hyde + Hyde’s sunken courtyard home

Project data

Location Langland Bay, South Wales
Type of project sunken Courtyard House
Client Private
Architect Hyde + Hyde Architects
Landscape architect Hyde + Hyde Architects
Planning consultant Geraint John Planning
Structural engineer TBC
M&E consultant TBC
Main contractor TBC
Funding Self-funded
Tender date August 2015
Completion date 2017
Contract duration TBC
Gross internal floor area 140m2
Form of contract and/or procurement TBC

Hyde + Hyde's sunken courtyard home

Hyde + Hyde’s sunken courtyard home

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