Blue Door is a newly constructed four bedroom house located within the Wye Valley AONB in rural Monmouthshire, enjoying far-reaching views over the pristine surrounding countryside. The developed design emerged from a layering of fluid plan forms inspired by the overlapping of sycamore seed pods which littered the site during early visits. The resulting arrangement, which references the hillside topography, establishes carefully orientated views over the unfolding valley below, while creating overhangs that form balconies and solar shading.
A curved retaining wall nestles the building into the rear bank, creating a top-lit ground floor gallery for the clients' collection of ceramics. The choice of oxidised copper-coated ceramic tiles and cedar boarding blend the scheme into the hues of the hillside. The highly insulated house is heated by a ground source heat pump augmented by a heat recovery system, resulting in a 60% reduction in energy usage compared to building regulations, and achieves Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4.
2011 RIBA Awards, Winner2010 Brick Awards, Double Finalist (Best House. Most Innovative Use of Clay Products)
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Veddw Farm is a remodelled stone Victorian farmhouse occupying a secluded location within the Wye Valley AONB. Having grown from the nucleus of a small cottage, the original building possessed cramped spaces that were disconnected from its wonderful garden.
Hall + Bednarczyk's design extends and relocates key rooms within the house to create a generous series of family spaces that flow together. A new and much enlarged kitchen incorporates a sliding glass wall that establishes a direct connection with grounds that descend to a picturesque trout lake. A new master bedroom on the first floor provides a calm and airy space that surveys this view.
A steel framed outbuilding, clad entirely in Western Red Cedar, provides garaging, utility space and a glass walled first floor office with a large balcony overlooking the lake.
The scheme aims to respond to the clients' wish for a contemporary home that respects and enhances the stone dwelling's well established character and setting.
This private residence occupies a secluded location with an exceptional vantage point offering 270º panoramic views over an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covering the Wye Valley, Severn Estuary and south Monmouthshire.
The design, which is a replacement for an existing dwelling, aims to achieve a generous sense of space within a limited external volume. A double height glazed space unites two distinct wings within an L shaped plan. The design seeks to contrast solidity with transparency. Gently curved stone walls on the northern elevations wrap around the building and echo the surrounding agricultural landscape. Slim framed floor to ceiling glazing provides unrestricted views over rolling farmland to the south. Overhanging balconies provide solar protection for this transparent south elevation. An open plan ground floor layout incorporates a double height volume overlooked by a mezzanine, and benefits from a dramatic sense of light and space.
2012 RIBA Welsh Architecture Awards, Winner2012 Grand Designs Awards, Finalist
This off-grid weekend home is located within the Long Mynd, a National Trust owned AONB landscape. Planning permission was granted by South Shropshire Concil for the 120m² dwelling, replacing a modest bungalow.
The design is an understated glass and cedar clad pavilion with three bedrooms and an open plan living space. The elegant simplicity of the building was considered to be an appropriate response to its setting by the National Trust who were supportive of the proposal. Elevations have been designed to combine transparency and solidity according to the needs of the internal spaces and the views they enjoy. The building's oversailing roof, which is highly visible from a network of popular walking trails in the surrounding hills, is planted with sedum to significantly diminish the building's impact.
The absence of all mains utilities requires the use of on-site renewable services. Solar hot water, augmented by a log burner with back boiler, provides hot water and room heating. Photo Voltaic panels produce electricity for lighting and domestic use. Crucially, the building features very high levels of insulation and has been designed to benefit from passive solar heat gain, while avoid over-heating on hot days.
Completed in 2006, this project comprised the gutting and remodeling of a dilapidated 200 year old warehouse to create a 480m² (5200ft²) mixed-use property combining offices, studios and residential apartments. The Grade II listed building is transformed by a combination of sensitive restoration, carefully considered interventions and modern new-build construction.
The scheme retains the industrial building's distinctive open plan spaces, and reveals its original materials and construction techniques. The modern extension, which addresses a rear courtyard, adopts a taut modern design with pronounced asymmetrical massing, cantilevering balconies and a sinuous central staircase. A slice of horizontal glazing brings light into the centre of the building's deep plan and serves to define the transition between the old and new parts of the building. Metal framed glazing, with its design adjusted to reflect both the traditional and modern portions of the building, provides a unifying visual link.
The building was featured in 'Space', The Guardian's weekend design supplement, in November 2006.
A late 16th Century farmhouse of considerable historic significance, but fairly run-down condition, formed the starting point for an ambitious remodeling and restoration project, featured on the BBC2 programme Restoration Home.
By opening up an entrance which had been blocked up for centuries, a connecting barn provides a light and spacious family kitchen that adjoins a formal dining room with hand carved beams and oak paneling.
Changes include the insertion of a sinuous oak staircase which ascends two storeys through the heart of the house on a ribbon-like oak spine. The new staircase provides access to a former attic space, enabling its transformation into spacious master bedroom and guest suites.
Elsewhere an enclosed 1960's porch has been replaced with a new lead-roofed entrance canopy supported on an oak frame that responds to the robustly-carved 16th joinery evident within the house. These new insertions are intended to leave a carefully-judged but confident imprint of the remodeling work, adding to the rich history of the building.
This project is a substantial remodelling of a former Forestry Commission dwelling which seeks to respond to its woodland setting in the heart of the Wye Valley AONB. Building up off the original footprint and retaining the existing structure up to the level of the first floor, the scheme provides a substantial expansion of space and family accommodation.
The increase in size is achieved through the construction of a lightweight timber framed vertical extension. By opening out the building to natural light and views on its upper levels, the house provides a chance for its occupants to delight in its secluded setting.
The utilitarian origins of the building provide a viable starting point for an energy efficient home which is super-insulated and then externally clad in cedar planking.
This remodelling of a large semi-detached house in Abergavenny replaces a previously cramped and disconnected kitchen extension with a lofty glazed orangery space, and creates a dramatic new relationship with the property's generous garden. Cutting a large stepped sunken terrace into the space between the original house and the new orangery creates a substantial light-well and transforms the main property's lower ground floor into a light and flexible new kitchen with floor-to ceiling glass doors. The orangery has direct physical links to the main house on two floors, and opens straight out onto the garden.
Being one half of a semi-detached property, the roofline of the orangery matches that of the neighbouring building and respects their shared composition. The original slate roof is supported on a slender steel and glass frame, which acts as a modern reading of the block form it has replaced. The orangery's extensive glazing is subdivided in rhythms derived from the varied window openings of the original victorian house.
Hall + Bednarczyk's proposal for a visitor centre at Llandegfedd was chosen as the winning design in Welsh Water's two-stage competition for new facilities at one of their most visited sites.
The 400m2 building combines a café, exhibition space and public conveniences on its upper level, connecting a raised meadow, through which the public gain access to the building, with a panoramic viewing balcony overlooking the reservoir. Ground floor facilities provide flexible Welsh Water site operations spaces, offices and back-of house facilities for use by site rangers and anglers.
The design aims to create a simple, elegant and legible building through carefully distilling a fairly complex brief that called for overlapping uses serving the general public, recreational club members and Reservoir staff. A generous oversailing roof aims to capture a fluidity of form, with surface properties that capture the shimmer of the water that the building overlooks. The monocoque roof structure is held up at the corners of the building by textured concrete columns that bear the imprint of timber formwork. A glazed wall at the first floor level slides open to allow the café space to spill out onto a cantilevering terrace.
Competition Winning Design 2006
Hall + Bednarczyk's proposal for a temporary demountable opera house was chosen as the winning design for the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea's annual outdoor opera season staged in Holland Park. The scheme, designed with tensile structure specialists Architen Landrell, was selected from an invited shortlist which included proposals by world-renowned architects.
The facility is required to be temporary due to its parkland location adjacent to Grade 1 listed Holland House. The design seeks to resolve the practical needs of a rapidly demountable audience facility with the desire for a luxurious opera house. An over-sailing tensile fabric roof provides a free-spanning cover for the entire facility, suspended from two 18m high V masts.
A stacking system of pre-fabricated units, derived from temporary modular buildings, provides a habitable structure forming large hospitality spaces, while supporting grandstand seating for 1,000 audience members. A set of timber clad steel balconies are designed to bolt to the stacked modular frame, creating a dramatic full width cantilevered frontage. The system is designed to be craned into position in a 3 day period, followed by a 2 week fit out period.
This covered outdoor classroom for 30 young school children was created using a tensile fabric structure. The timber arches create a soft embracing form that keeps the eaves line of the roof low, providing maximum protection from rainfall.
The 80m² teaching facility incorporates curved bench seating formed from larch slats. The bench seats cantilever from galvanized steel struts tied in to the underside of the structure's primary timber arches. Integrating the furniture in this way creates a ready-made teaching environment which is always ready for use.
A leaf-green coloured rubberized tarmac floor completes the child-friendly environment. The use of a translucent fabric canopy provides a glowing, naturally-lit space with the intention of creating an inspiring place of learning.
Following a competition held by Public Art Wales, Hall + Bednarcyk were appointed with artist Howard Bowcott from a field of 34 entries to undertake the design of a new perfomance venue at Eirias Park.
The design comprises a flexible performance space, part of which can be rotated into different positions, enabling it to operate as an intimate venue for 100+ spectators, or alternatively to address a large landscaped amphitheatre for audiences in excess of 1000 people.
The structure is located on a peninsula which projects into Eirias Park lake, forming a scupltural presence which takes advantage of the water’s reflective surface. The structure, clad in green oxidised copper, is designed to provide a durable and low maintentance public amenity.
Hall + Bednarczyk were appointed as architects in 2005 for this key outdoor activity centre in Gloucestershire, which provides the UK's deepest inland scuba-diving facility. The practice's commission required the masterplanning of a 55 acre site comprising a former quarry and woodland. Acting as architects for all of the site's proposed buildings including a new Diving Centre, hotel and visitor accommodation, and forty holiday lodges, Hall + Bednarczyk secured planning permission for the National Diving and Activity Centre in November 2006.
Preparatory work, including the construction of a new site entrance, is scheduled for completion by mid 2008. The ambitious plans which have been approved for the site enable the creation of one of South West England's leading adventure sport locations. The modern buildings proposed throughout the site aim to achieve outstanding environmental performance, in keeping with the centre's passion for the preserving the great outdoors.
This 120m2 pavilion building will provide multi-purpose facilities for a cruise service which navigates the River Wye. It is located on the river bank within the grounds of Chepstow Castle, an 11th Century Scheduled Ancient Monument. Its low-lying form incorporates an inverted roof which helps to minimise the building's impact on protected views within the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Beauty.
The single storey structure comprises a café, waiting room, toilets, serving counter and kitchen, administration office and store room. Concertina doors enable the building's glazed river elevation to open fully onto an expansive cantilevered deck.
An articulated gangway suspended from a gantry provides pedestrian access to the river, which has an exceptionally high tidal range. Full planning permission was granted in June 2007 with adapted designs including a funicular step access approved in June 2009.
This project gives the organizers of Chepstow Festival a means of creating a temporary roof covering for summer audiences attending theatre performances at Chepstow Castle. The proposal secured funding from the Welsh Assembly Government following a successful submission for EU support. After considerable design development, planning permission, in the form of Scheduled Ancient Monument Consent was granted by CADW, Wales's heritage body.
The lightweight membrane roof provides coverage for over 300 spectators, while minimizing the structural interference and physical contact with the walls and ground of the castle. Lightweight masts and high tension cables enable the structure to be rapidly assembled and placed in storage, providing a flexible amenity which transforms the inner courtyard by creating a covered amphitheatre. The design is an economical and demountable solution to the uncertainties of a British summer.
Hall + Bednarczyk Architects is an award winning practice, established in 2005, that focuses on progressive modern design for residential, commercial and public architecture. Since its formation, the practice has been successful in several competitions for public projects and has secured a number of prestigious commissions from private clients, public bodies and private companies.
Hall + Bednarczyk won a 2012 RIBA Welsh Architecture Award for Carreg a Gwydr, and a 2011 RIBA Award and Manser Medal nomination for Blue Door, both private houses in the Wye Valley. The practice's work has received coverage from architectural magazines as well as the BBC, Wallpaper*, The Guardian's design supplement 'Space' and The Sunday Times.
The practice aims to create elegant buildings that make appropriate use of advanced materials and construction, while remaining sympathetic to their surroundings. Designs incorporate a thorough examination of environmental issues to reduce energy consumption and derive maximum benefit from natural resources. A significant proportion of projects are set within sensitive contexts, including historic buildings, protected landscapes and conservation areas, but proposals seek to respond creatively to such surroundings, rather than be inhibited by them.
Hall + Bednarczyk's practice philosophy is to create well-considered modern buildings which enrich their environment and, in doing so, have lasting value.
Martin Hall studied architecture at Oxford School of Architecture, Oxford Brookes University and attained his professional RIBA qualification at the Architectural Association, London in 2000.
Martin has experience in the design and implementation of technically advanced multi-million pound projects and meticulously executed small buildings. After a period working on bespoke residential projects in London, Martin’s early career saw him pursuing a particular interest in tensile structures, leading to a principal role at specialist firm Architen Landrell. In this position, Martin designed a variety of landmark buildings and structures in the UK and overseas, several of which received international recognition and awards. Martin has worked for extended periods in New York and Chile, with lead responsibility on several large scale projects. He has been an invited lecturer at universities in the UK and USA.
Following several independent commissions and a competition win, Martin established Hall + Bednarczyk Architects with Kelly Bednarczyk in 2005.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Kelly Bednarczyk received her Bachelor of Architecture professional degree from Virginia Tech in 2002. Having originally gained an internship in the UK while at university, Kelly moved from the USA to pursue her career in Britain following the completion of her studies.
Prior to assuming her role as a director of Hall + Bednarczyk Architects, Kelly spent three years working as a Project Leader for Architen Landrell, where she was responsible for both design and project management on several high profile schemes in the UK.
As a developing designer, her work has been displayed in various exhibitions and received formal recognition. These include a scholarship for excellence in the study of architecture and an award for professional promise in the practice of architecture from Virginia Tech, where she has also been an invited lecturer.
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