Wilding Wagon

Set on a picturesque Welsh hillside is a lovingly converted old railway carriage, blending memories of the golden railway age with homely comfort. The carriage retains all the old carriages character and charm, while incorporating the amenities needed for a comfortable stay. Internally, a cozy living area is perfect for unwinding by the wood-burning stove after a day of exploring the Welsh hillsides.

Reminiscent of a bygone era the carriage has been lovingly restored using traditional materials and techniques to create a warm comfortable holiday let which blends comfortably with the surrounding landscape.

The project was designed from first principals to have minimal environmental impact. The locally sourced carriage provides the basic shell whilst composting toilets and a hot water and heating system powered by fuel grown on site provide a minimal ongoing environmental footprint.

Project Credits

Photography: Adam Barker

Upper Ferley

Upper Ferley

Nidus Architects have been commissioned to convert an existing barn into living accommodation. The barn is attached to an 18th Century farmers cottage in Mid Wales.

A simple treatment of the exterior helps to retain the character and charm of the original barn, whilst internally a double height space is filled with natural light to create a new living space.

Kingsmill Barn

Working closely with the client Nidus Architects oversaw the renovation of an existing barn and construction of a new contemporary extension to the side. A lightweight glazed link was created between the two buildings to both manage circulation between the two elements and clearly distinguish between old and new.

Locally sourced slate and stone are placed alongside low cost agricultural cladding to tie the new extension to both the original barn and wider landscape. The end result is a light filled home that gives the original building space to breath.

Residential extension for Kingsmill Barn

Project Credits

Photography: Devon Photography

Contractors: MJR Construction

Structural Engineer: Simon Ballantine

Pen y Common

Nestled on a secluded hillside above Hay-on-Wye is Pen-y-Common. A Seventeenth Century Welsh longhouse. The clients wanted a modern, light filled extension, however it also needed to sit comfortably with, and compliment the existing house.

Form and massing reference vernacular pitched roof structures typical of the Welsh Landscape. Intersecting volumes allude to the rural farmstead tradition of ad-hoc development, the pitched roof is a time tested solution for dealing with the harsh Welsh climate whilst the building steps with the sites natural topography, hunkering into the landscape to provide shelter against prevailing winds.

A dialogue between old and new was developed using a material palette of natural, raw finishes inspired by traditional Welsh practices. Floors are buffed concrete, a modern take on traditional flagstones whilst the untreated larch cladding was grown, cut, dried and machined within ten miles of the site.

Thoughtful, sustainable detailing has been employed throughout. For example the cladding has a random width pattern to reduce unnecessary waste, with offcuts being used elsewhere, such as to make the front door.

The project has been recognised with multiple awards including the RSAW Welsh Architecture Building of the Year 2023 and an RIBA National Award 2023 given to buildings in recognition of their significant contribution to Architecture. Pen y Common was undertaken by both Nidus Architects and Rural Office. Rural Office undertook work through RIBA stages 1 to 3. Nidus Architects undertook work through RIBA Stages 3 to 7.

Project Credits

Photography: Finn Beales

RIBA stages 1-3: Rural Office

Contractors: Jenkinson Builders and Firth Construction

Structural Engineer: RV Williams Associates


RSAW: Welsh Architecture Building of the Year 2023

RSAW: Welsh Architecture Conservation Project of the Year 2023

RSAW: Welsh Architecture Small Project of the Year 2023

RSAW: Regional Award 2023

RIBA: National Award 2023

Eisteddfod: Gold medal for Architecture Winner

The Old Grazing

The Old Grazing

The Old Grazing is situated in a quiet part of rural Herefordshire. Our brief was to create a large family home that responds to the site. A contemporary response using traditional forms and materials was well received by planners and the project is currently on site nearing completion.



This project sought to consolidate the existing cottage and create a new open plan living area in the form or a rear extension. Situated in a rural location agricultural materials were utilised to create a contemporary extension that sits comfortably next to the existing house.

Due to be completed later this year.

Locally sourced slate and stone are placed alongside low cost agricultural cladding to tie the new extension to both the original barn and wider landscape. The end result is a light filled home that gives the original building space to breath.



Situated in the picturesque village of Noss Mayo on a steeply sloping site. Nidus Architects oversaw the addition of a rear extension to this 1950’s Art Deco house.

The owners wanted to take advantage of the sites unique views. The solution was a  large glazed frontage that transforms what was a dark living room into a bright, airy open plan living space.

Upper Duffryn

Upper Duffryn

Currently on site this exciting project within the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty will bring an historic barn back into use as part new home,  part holiday let. The biggest challenge presented by the project was to find a solution that would allow the original roof height to be notably increased. Working with Shropshire Councils built Heritage Officer timber louvres were introduced over the existing walls to maintain the character and proportions of the original structure.

A suitable construction strategy was developed that will enable a lightweight timber frame to be inserted within the existing stone walls. The original trusses will be re-used to form a new roof at the higher level.

Wain House

Hidden in a small Herefordshire hamlet near the Welsh border town of Presteigne is the Wain House. The site, originally part of a medieval farmstead is home to a Grade II Listed Cart Shed, converted into a dwelling in the mid 1990’s. The new dwelling has allowed much of the mid 90’s work to be reversed and the Cart Shed to be sensitively restored.

Siting a new dwelling next to the cart shed without overwhelming it is achieved by splitting the house into two separate elements that reference the form, massing and layout of nearby agricultural structures dotted across the settlement. Each element accommodates a main living space linked via a circulation corridor recessed into the site so that as occupants move through the house they are immersed into the garden and landscape.

A considered palette of traditional clay tiles, local stone, oak and Herefordshire gravel is used to create a dialogue with the old cart shed and wider context.

Environmental considerations have been integrated with the overall design strategy, for example bedding the house into the landscape provides thermal mass, but at the same time ensures the buildings scale does not overwhelm the adjacent cart shed.

Glazing on the circulation hall is aligned due South to benefit from passive heat gains. To manage heat gains a timber trellis spans over the glazing allowing climbing plants to provide shade in the summer and, once leaves drop, natural light and heat gains in the colder months.

Project Credits

Contractors: Firth Construction

Structural Engineer: Donald McIntyre Design

Photography: Mat Price

Beech Trees

Front view of animal centre at night

Beech Trees

Overlooking the Teignbridge estuary and on the edge of Dartmoor National Park this new quarantine facility provides exemplar standards of care for the Mare and Foal sanctuaries rescued horses. The facility was established to manage and maintain the wellbeing of animals across 3 sites. All newly rescued horses pass through the facility before being introduced to the resident herds.

Constructed using sustainably sourced timber and recycled fly ash concrete the quarantine requirements of the facility provided many unique challenges that were overcome through close communication with staff and veterinary specialists across the country.

Carefully linked spaces, robust construction and easily maintainable facilities create light, hygienic and pleasant stables for the horses to stay during periods of quarantine

Close up detail of polycarbonate glazing
contemporary architecture, concrete and timber
Front view of animal centre at night
Larch cladding with metal lettering
Sliding timber board doors
View of veterinary facility entrance