Marine Drive, Llandudno, North wales

Swn y Mor Demolition and Rebuild
Location: Great Orme, exposed limestone slope facing west to the sea
Site: Swn y Mor, a dilapidated and outdated bungalow built around the 1800s
The brief: The building was handed down to a family member who wanted to redeleop the site on the basis that the existing refurbishment costs to bring it up to modern standards would be prohibitive
The opportunity: The site commands outstanding panoramic views over the Irish Sea. The slope creates its own challenges, yet such sites often lend themselves to a sustainable design solution that will stand the test of time. The main planning considerations are the effect of the proposed development upon the character and appearance of the area.
The proposal: Demolition of the existing bungalow and construction of a new modern, two-storey detached family dwelling. The design incorporates a new improved parking area and garage built in to the site at the lower entrance level. In keeping with the demolished structure, the new building is organic in nature with distinct blocks set at slightly different angles. It steps back to account for the slope of the land. Primary living spaces such as living and kitchen/dining areas are on the upper level, accessed from a sweeping staircase in the hallway which acts as the central hub of the house. The bed spaces are on the lower level, accessed via a central corridor off the central hall. Using the slope of the land, the upper level can be accessed via extensive, decked roof terraces. Bi fold/sliding doors open out on to the terraces to create a physical connection between outside and inside space.
Benefits: The proposal fits the footprint of the existing building, so there is no additional build space. The angles and primary living areas on the upper floor maximise light and stunning sea views. Because of the stepped nature of the building, it still appears as low-rise as per the previous single-floor structure. The design includes improved parking and access. Finally, the use of modern materials and construction methods ensures maximum insulation, lower carbon emissions and reduced heating costs. Taken as a whole, the project meets and exceeds the needs of Wales planning policy.