Project Overview

This new, 725m2, Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 residential property was built on the former site of the Stormy Castle Farm House in the rural Gower area of South Wales. 

The works comprised the construction of a new in-situ subterranean private dwelling spread over three levels. The property has three stepped ‘wings’ set into the landscape, following the contours of the land, with much of the building cut and sunk into the sloping site and covered with green roofs. 

Materials such as in-situ concrete, weathered steel surfaces and Corten steel cladding were chosen to reflect the aesthetic of local farm buildings. The site also includes a number of enclosed external spaces and courtyards, including the sunken ‘Secret Courtyard’ accessed only from the Client’s study and master bedroom. 

The property has been designed to be sustainable and low maintenance, with a highly insulated fabric including green roofs. Its mechanical and electrical installations include photovoltaic solar panels, solar thermal panels, a ground source heat pump, rainwater harvesting, wood burning stoves and mechanical ventilation heat recovery. The building features extensive glazed elevations to capitalise upon its surroundings within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and provide high levels of natural light. 

Additional renovation works to existing historical buildings on the site included a Grade II listed barn and a goat shed. The refurbished barn now houses a gym incorporating new roof, glazed clerestory windows, and mechanical and electrical installations, while the goat shed is used as a media room and accessed from the main house via a glazed walkway.

The project has received the following awards:

  • 2014 RIBA Manser Medal for the Best New House in Britain
  • 2014 RIBA Welsh Architectural Award
  • 2014 National Eisteddfod Gold Medal for Architecture
  • 2014 Concrete Society Building Category (Mixed Use)

Project Gallery


Private Client



Project Value


Contract Period

56 weeks