Silver How, Llanhennock

Silver How is intended to provide a sustainable, enduring addition to Llanhennock's Conservation Area. The design approach repurposes a stable as a generous family kitchen, connected via a glazed link to a new stone-built wing of principal accommodation. The two blocks combine to form an L shaped plan that embraces a south-facing courtyard living space. It presents a modestly scaled gable end to the street, where it reads alongside the subordinate stable building which has been partially rebuilt with its original Arts and Crafts detailing restored and enhanced. The architectural composition marries the lightness and transparency of modern construction with the permanence and heft of locally quarried sandstone. The finely edged stone detailing brings a contemporary sensibility and overall unity to the design. The building is nestled behind ancient, protected oak trees which frame the building and its extensive views to the countryside beyond.
Planning and Design

Design and Planning Process
Silver How is a generous five bedroom home located within the Conservation Area of Llanhennock, a small village near Caerleon. The new dwelling replaces a dilapidated 1960s house that had been built next to an Arts and Crafts stable. Purchased at auction by a family with young children, Silver How occupies a sensitive site, dominated by several large, legally protected, ancient Oak trees.

Hall + Bednarczyk architects were appointed following the failure to achieve planning consent for two previous schemes. To better respect the site, it was considered essential to retain the early 20th Century stable while preserving the oak trees which are an important visual asset to the wider village.

While the new addition is twenty percent larger than the previous dwelling, reflecting the client’s overall programme of requirements, it presents a modestly scaled gable end to the street, where it reads alongside the subordinate stable building.

he 440m2 project was built over a fifteen-month period for a budget of approximately £2,000 per square metre. The design employs a steel frame, allowing a flexible layout to benefit from large spans and slender structure. This frees up an architectural composition which marries the lightness and transparency of modern construction with the permanence and heft of locally quarried sandstone. The skill of local masons was crucial to achieving finely edged stone detailing which aims to bring a contemporary sensibility and overall unity to the design. Framed by the ancient oak trees and retaining the mossy roof of the carefully rebuilt stable, Silver How is immediately established in Llanhennock’s Conservation Area.

Key Sustainability Points
Generous ground floor glazing benefits from the oversailing first floor which provides natural shade for high angled intense summer sun, while enabling warming winter sun to penetrate the ground floor plan. First floor glazing is reduced to avoid overheating. Integrated shading louvres and a flexible system of opening windows, frequently at high level for daytime security, facilitates effective and versatile ventilation.

The new building incorporates a highly insulated, timber-framed envelope fully encasing the structural steel frame of the building. The hybrid design of the wall section enables a sandwich construction that is full filled with insulation and minimises thermal bridging. The incorporation of the service zone behind the plasterboard ensures the integrity of the Air and Vapour Control Layer (AVCL) layer and ensures good airtightness.

The Arts and Crafts stable has a newly constructed roof insulated to current building regulations. Retrofitted wall and floor insulation greatly improve its thermal performance. A ground source heat pump provides 4:1 performance gain for the energy requirements of all the hot water needs, which include underfloor heating throughout.

The elevated site is in an Environment Agency flood zone 1 and is not at risk of flooding from rivers or sea.

Client testimonial from Emma Powell:
We knew we had chosen the right architects for us from our initial meeting will Hall + Bednarczyk. Their vision filled us with confidence and we couldn't wait to begin. They enabled us to appreciate what we liked and what we really didn’t want for our home. They were thorough in understanding our requirements and how we wanted to 'live' in the house as a family with two young children as well as future proofing it for us.  We looked forward to our regular project meetings where Hall + Bednarczyk were keen to listen to us, offering advice and guidance along with constructive challenge, rooted in their obvious expertise and experience.
They made commissioning our own home a painless process and we always felt we were in safe, experienced and professional hands. They selected the right construction company for us and our awkward build site and the whole process was a collaborative team effort.
Our home is now a real showstopper and local villagers are as thrilled with the finished article, as we are! It sits perfectly with in the surrounding area, fitting seamlessly with the natural environment. The quality of design and vision surpassed all our expectations and we now have a home that is a beautiful, comfortable place for us and our children to relax and enjoy.

Client quotes from Grand Designs interview:
‘We were impressed by the quality of their previous projects and they instantly understood what we wanted,’ says Emma, ‘A feeling of light and space was our biggest priority, and in hindsight we are so glad that our earlier schemes weren’t granted planning permission because Hall + Bednarczyk’s design is superb.’
‘As first-time self-builders we were unprepared for the planning challenges, but our architect and builder couldn’t have been more helpful and turned the project around,’ says Emma. ‘Linking the old and new buildings gives real character to the house, and all the little details and quirky touches bring it to life.’
(e.g. project/architect/engineer website)

Hall + Bednarczyk architects website:
Azimuth Engineering:

Design and Construction Information

Client: Mr & Mrs Powell

Architect: Hall + Bednarczyk Architects. To obtain further details on the design and delivery team, please contact the Architects.

Date of Completion: 22nd May 2018

Contract value: £882,209

Site Area: 3265m2

Cost/m2: £2005 per m2

Funding: Private

Awards: RIBA Welsh Architecture Award, 2019 RSAW Project Architect of the Year Award