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When it came to Ty Oriel (‘Gallery House’ in Welsh), the brief
Architects Nic Downs and Carolyn Merrifield wanted
something sleek but striking. Eco-friendly, but instantly
classic. A family home that was angular and modern, but
that could simultaneously blend with its more conservative
And they were that demanding for a very good reason. The
house was theirs.
Clean and minimalistic, the resulting build is stylishly openplan, incorporating an office and an art studio as well as four
bedrooms, all south-facing to maximise natural light.
And to honour its location, it has been made as much as
possible from natural materials – lime, render, zinc timber,
and, arguably most important of all, slate.
Two hundred square metres of SSQ’s Del Carmen Celtas
slate were used on Ty Oriel’s roof and to clad its walls.
Where most slate suppliers only offer a choice of a few
off-the-shelf specifications, here SSQ provided something
entirely bespoke. Slates in eleven different sizes, all custom
cut and holed at an SSQ depot, contrasted the building’s
sleek lines with a more rugged, rustic aesthetic.
Without it, the house would have looked too modern – too
brash and outlandish for its sleepy outer Cardiff location.
But with it, Ty Oriel achieves that incredibly difficult balance
between traditional and contemporary – providing Nic and
Carolyn with a thoroughly modern, high-performance family
home, without clashing with its surroundings.