Gaunt Francis Architects, Powys, 2020



Photography by Will Pryce     Download Original

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Llangynidr is an isolated village in Powys, set within the outstanding natural beauty of the Brecon Beacons National Park

The village has doubled in size since the 1940’s, and much of it is now laid out on a suburban 20th century framework. Glasfryn is unusual in that it enjoys more space than most, and with extensive views.

However, for all its fabulous setting, when our clients acquired the property, Glasfryn was visually dominated by a tarmac driveway serving a large flat-roofed double garage in the south-east corner of the site, with a turning circle outside it. The house was a delicate Arts & Crafts set-piece, but its internal planning was limited by small rooms.

The client’s ambition was to introduce a new ‘heart’ to the house, in the from of an open plan kitchen/dining space, enabling the original house to contain larger living spaces. The first floor accommodation that existed could be adapted successfully, but more ground floor space was needed, including a workshop and covered parking. A single storey ‘extension’ seemed the obvious proposal, but through careful site analysis and continued client discussion, the brief became much more than a schedule of accommodation.

The primary character of the existing house was determined by its roof, and the steep pitch helped formulate a new proposal for the site, that not only better embraced the front garden and reduced the dominance of the entrance road, but also allowed extensive views of the surrounding scenery, and created separate garden spaces for morning and afternoon relaxation .

The new envelope is of airtight, highly insulated, timber frame construction with triple glazing, largely following Passivhaus standards. The Planning Authority, who have very limiting policies for enlargements, building lines and ‘style’, were convinced through a computer modelled study, that compared sight lines before and after.

Annual CO2 emissions data (requested in kg/m2/year) was not provided.


  • Begun: May 2018
  • Completed: Aug 2020
  • Floor area: 165m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £275,000
  • Funding: private
  • Tender date: Jul 2017
  • Procurement: negotiated Minor Works
  • Address: Llangynidr, Powys, NP8, United Kingdom

Professional Team