Let's take a stroll through the Welsh countryside, where the pastures are green and the air is clean and fresh. The great outdoors really is a wonderful place to be, especially during the summer, as the owners of this eco-home near Abergavenny are well aware. The property, designed by CRSH Architecture and Energy, enjoys an idyllic countryside location, where peace and quiet are the order of the day – sounds good, doesn't it? But the location isn't it's only good point – an innovative eco-friendly design has secured this home some prestigious awards, and the interior itself is rich in aesthetic beauty and quality craftsmanship.
Photography by James French.
The exterior is certainly unusual, and we're instantly struck by the unique 'book-end' walls and slanting roof. These walls are super insulated and support the first floor, which allows the internal spaces to run the entire width of the building. Lateral stability comes from a series of cross-walls and a discrete buttress. The front of the building is clad in oak, but to the rear it's a very different story, with a wall made almost entirely of glass.
Hiding at the back of the home is this impressive glazed wall, which forms a suntrap that contributes passive solar heating to the property. The retractable glass doors are framed with Douglas fir, drawing a visual connection between this section and the oak-clad façade to the front. The large panels frame the view outside, capturing the morning sunrise to the starry night sky, and thus creating a harmony between the architecture and surrounding landscape.
Reclaimed Welsh slate forms the dining room floor, and the furniture you see here is made from reclaimed timber. The space is open plan, with no interior walls to block the flow of natural light. The decor is simple and modern for a fresh and down to earth feel. The focal point, rather than being on the inside, is the expanse of green fields and blue skies as far as the eye can see.
Upstairs, there are four bedrooms and two bath and shower rooms. Access to the top floor is via a natural timber staircase which dominates a triple-height hallway. This space is equally as light-filled as the others, thanks to two full-height window slots, and the curved wall design, which maximise the flow of natural light.
On the second floor, a small balcony protrudes outwards, with a spot to sit and appreciate the views, or get stuck into a good book. The sunlight streaming in creates a calming ambience, perfect for enjoying your down-time after work or on a lazy Sunday morning.
Want to see some similar projects? Then check out the following ideabook: Designer living in Dorset.