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Welsh drought: just two buildings win RIBA Regional Awards

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A converted poultry barn and a private house are the only two Welsh projects to walk away with RIBA regional awards this year

The judges of the regional accolades – also known as the RSAW Welsh Architecture Awards – chose the Chickenshed holiday home in Monmouthshire by Hall + Bednarczyk Architects and a private house by Hyde + Hyde Architects on the coastline of the Gower Peninsular.

The two projects were picked from a shortlist of just four projects, with the other two buildings being a high school by AHR and an office block by Rio Architects.

In recent years the number of RIBA Award winners in Wales has been worryingly low. Since 2013 only one scheme in the country, Cliff House by Hyde + Hyde Architects in 2015, has scooped an RIBA National Award. 

Three years ago Tony Chapman, then head of awards at the RIBA, called on architects in Wales to raise their game, saying: ‘The RIBA can’t award anything to a region if the quality isn’t there. There are plenty of other awards which do this; but if it is the case that Wales didn’t win anything, then people in Wales need to look at addressing this in the future.’

Speaking about this year’s winners, jury chair Paul Harries of BHN Architects and head of the new Swansea School of Architecture said: ’While both of the awards are for houses, they are very different from each other, the one clad externally in stone with walnut panelled interiors, the other in clad in Bitumen sheets with painted panels to the interior.

’What remains consistent between these two winning schemes is the considered regard for context, the careful arrangement of spaces along with rigorous and sensitive detailing.’ 

Both buildings will now go on to be considered for national honours, with the successful projects revealed on 22 June. The six finalists for the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize will be drawn from these national winners.

Silver House, Gower Peninsular, by Hyde + Hyde Architects

This new home on the coastline of the Gower Peninsular includes portal windows with integrated seating. Living spaces on the first floor rest on exposed timber beams – a reference to the construction of nearby agricultural buildings.

Silver house hyde+hyde pressimage 4 david schnabel

Silver House, Gower Peninsular, by Hyde + Hyde Architects

Source: David Schnabel

The Chickenshed, Monmouthshire, by Hall + Bednarczyk Architects

Hall + Bednarczyk Architects converted this former poultry barn into a 126mfour-bedroom holiday home, with black corrugated sheeting, timber cladding and a south-west-facing floor-to-ceiling glass wall.

The chickenshed hall+bednarczyk architects pressimage 1 michael sinclair

The Chickenshed, Monmouthshire, by Hall + Bednarczyk Architects

Source: Michael Sinclair 

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