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Tŷ Gwyllt

Set in the grounds of a writer's retreat in Criccieth, North West Wales, our proposal for a writer's shed was Shortlisted by the Royal Society of Architects in their recent national competition.

Dylan Thomas’ writings on the kindred nature of genius and flight takes physical form in Ty Gwyllt. Birds would often appear in Thomas' short stories, where flight would becoming a metaphor for leaps of imagination and a creative freedom. 

The filigree posts and ties of Ty Gwyllt are reminiscent of a bird’s nest. They form a delicate lattice, which gently suspends an enclosure to house a writer, whilst also creating a lace-like veil around it.

The influence of Thomas' own writers shed is also present in this proposal; A small timber shed in Laugharne, South Wales, it sits on a single post, precariously lurching out into the embankment of the estuary, as if in the unlikely act of taking off.

Brief, focused glimpses into the trees to the east and west are offered to those inside from a small cwtsh for reading under the stairs. Those listening to the words of a storyteller may sit on the broad steps and enjoy the soft light seeping down the vaulted ceiling to the spaces below. A formal tall window addresses the existing house from the raised study, whilst the view to the sea is reserved for the writer’s perch; a picturesque frame the writer descends toward to mark the end of each day.

Complementing its setting in the trees, the building houses nesting boxes for indigenous birds and bats behind its timber veil.