Gold medal for Pembrokeshire coastal national park home

Trewarren, Pembrokeshire - winner of the Gold Medal for Architecture at the National Eisteddfod in Denbigh, 2013
Image caption Trewarren near Newport in Pembrokeshire beat off competition from 24 architects to win a gold medal

A home in Pembrokeshire's national park has won a gold medal for architecture at the National Eisteddfod.

The five-bedroom house overlooking the Afon Nyfer estuary at Newport has been praised by experts for its design "simplicity" in a sensitive location.

The award is being made to John Pardey Architects, who beat off competition from 24 UK design practices.

A plaque of merit is also being handed to the Copper Kingdom Centre at Amlwch on Anglesey.

The presentations are being made at the first full day of the National Eisteddfod at Denbigh on Saturday, after being put forward by the Design Commission for Wales, backed by the Royal Society of Architects in Wales.

The award-winning house, called Trewarren, was designed to be a low-maintenance, energy-efficient home suitable for a family of four and guests.

The award selectors said they were unanimous in their decision, commending the design for its "clarity of concept, beautiful execution and careful relationship to site and orientation".

"All of the judges were in agreement that Trewarren is truly an outstanding building, of its time, and clearly belonging within traditional Welsh vernacular architecture," said selector Andrew Taylor, of London's Patel Taylor practice.

Image caption The Copper Kingdom Centre reflects the industry of Anglesey's copper town of Amlwch - while retaining a modern aspect

"Despite the beautiful location, the steep rocky slope on which it is located presented a design challenge that required some real thought and planning."

The judges praised the open-plan living space, with an open timber-rafted roof and "fabulous views" across the estuary.

Previous winners of the medal include architects responsible for Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School near Bridgend, and for the Oriel Mostyn art gallery at Llandudno, Conwy.

'Atmospheric backdrops'

In addition to the Gold Medal award, a plaque of merit is also being presented to the Conwy design practice of Donald Insall Associates for their work at the Copper Kingdom Centre on Anglesey.

The centre marks the impact that the copper industry had on the island, with its huge copper mines at Parys Mountain.

"The structure was restored and largely rebuilt to depict the evolutionary history of the 19th Century world-famous copper mining industry in the town, and careful consideration has obviously been given to the individual specification of materials, in particular the direct reference to the use of copper cladding," said selector Rhian Evans, of RE:AP in Conwy.

Image caption Joe Travers-Jones' Blue Lagoon suggestions for a former slate quarry win him a £1,500 scholarship prize

"The contrasting use of daylight and the arrangement of spaces around a brightly coloured, top-lit lift shaft makes for atmospheric backdrops, particularly in the exhibition spaces, which successfully depict the historic context."

A final award is also being made on Saturday, recognising the rising young stars of Welsh architecture.

Joe Travers-Jones from Ogmore-by-Sea in the Vale of Glamorgan has won the architecture scholarship of £1,500.

A student at University College London's Bartlett School of Architecture, he won the award for his design project 'The Blue Lagoon', which proposed turning a former industrial slate quarry in Pembrokeshire into a thermal spa with saltwater pools and seaweed baths.

Carole-Anne Davies, chief executive of the Design Commission for Wales, added: "Nurturing young, creative talent is vital to the future of architecture in Wales and we are delighted to award this scholarship to Joe.

"His submission really distinguished itself, showing a detailed understanding of the location and how the natural environment could be utilised to create a space of rest and relaxation in an area that is known for high-energy adventure sports."

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