Architects in ChargeKay Hyde, Kristian Hyde
Planning ConsultantAsbri Planning Limited
Structural EngineerCB3 Consult Limited
M&E ConsultantRichards Partnership Ltd
Quantity SurveyorShaun Condron Partnership
Text description provided by the architects. Ask Kay and Kristian Hyde to name the things that help make a good design a great place to live, you can never be quite sure what the response will be. It might be light, space and good poetry. Or a search for a certain gravitas.
In the case of Silver House, it was authenticity, dignity, and a certain architectural integrity.
Perched up high on a limestone cliff on the Gower Peninsula, where the Bristol Channel meets the Atlantic Ocean, this cherished part of the Wales coastline was the first recognised Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK.
The Silver’s family’s move to this spot looking out towards Oxwich Point was a statement in itself. They wanted to escape. They craved peace and solitude away from London. They wanted to feel part of the natural environment and reconnect with nature.
The warmth of wood protects them. Exposed beams echo the tectonic construction of agricultural buildings. The stone reminds them of the many miles of dry stone walls built on Gower in the medieval tradition, and protects them from the heavy storms that pass over.
Recently, Silver House was awarded the Royal Society of Architects Wales “Best Building of 2017”. It also won Highly Commended at the Sunday Times British Homes Awards (large house of the year category) was nominated for Wales’ Gold Medal for Architecture at the 2017 National Eisteddfod of Wales and is shortlisted for The Daily Telegraph Homebuilding & Renovating Awards 2017, the Build It Awards 2017, the RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize 2017 and the Blueprint Awards 2017.
These accolades reflect Hyde + Hyde’s innovative approach. And just as it did with Silver House, the process always starts with the personal stories of the clients. This work has just as much to do with raw emotion as it does with raw materials.
Even before the preliminary sketches are drawn, there are conversations to be had, questions to be asked.
- What are you most passionate about?
- Who do you read, listen and learn from?
- Who inspires you?
- What are your hopes dreams and ambitions?
“It’s important to get personal,” says Kristian. “Our clients come to us with a desire to create something more than just a design aesthetic. They like the idea that we can help them reflect who they are and what their home means to them. We question how they live, open up new ways of celebrating this life. This whole process is about them making their personal mark, telling a story that will last through the ages.”
Just as each project resonates with an intimate narrative, every design also has a strong connection with the environment and the forces of nature. Silver House provides the perfect illustration of how this works in practice.
The embedded visual iconography of the home captures the remote coastal nature of the site and the vernacular heritage nearby. It responds to the untamed weather fronts that pass over the peninsula. It endures and celebrates its wild context.
The internal programme of Silver House reacts to the shifting coastal light throughout the day. The kitchen is located towards the rising sun, living spaces for midday, with the master bedroom facing the setting sun.