Hidden House hunkers into a Herefordshire hillside with dramatic views to the Brecon Beacons. Hall + Bednarczyk were given an open brief to maximise the potential of a modestly scaled 19th Century stone barn of one and a half storeys, and we developed a strategy to meet the client’s aim of four bedrooms and flexible living accommodation.
The barn’s orientation and design had placed agricultural function over all other considerations. Over the years it had become wrapped in flimsy ad-hoc extensions. The architectural challenge was to respect those origins while responding to an entirely new purpose – creating a family home that revelled in its location.
The 300m2 design proposal successfully made the case to Herefordshire planning officers for decluttering the structure and cutting a new subterranean living space into the hillside below the barn. This approach enhanced the legibility of the stone barn by returning to its original silhouette.
A new glass-walled living space enables the extraordinary landscape to accompany everyday household activities. This space is bedded into the hillside, with its wildflower planted roof flowing seamlessly into the surroundings.
Modestly lifting the barn’s roofline makes the upper storey viable and introduces a slender band of glazing below the eaves line that provides panoramic eye level views for the upstairs bedrooms.