The List of the 6 Best Buildings in Wales

1. The Galilee Chapel at St Illtud’s Church, Llantwit Major 

Davies Sutton Architects, Cardiff

The Galilee Chapel was a roofless ruin at the west end of St Illtud’s Church, known locally as ‘the Cathedral of the Vale’. The building is listed grade 1 and has a hugely significant history, going back to the St Illtud in c500AD. Several early Christian Stones stood in the adjacent church but were poorly displayed and vulnerable to damage. Thanks to the conversion, the ruined chapel has now been transformed into an inviting, light-filled space which houses the church’s collection of ancient stones and functions as a welcoming centre for the church’s many visitors, including Prince Charles who was there earlier this week a part of his summer tour.

2. Old Farm Mews, Dinas Powys

Hoole & Walmsley Architects, Crickhowell and Dinas Powys

With a location in a village conservation area, the architectural challenge on this housing development project was to provide four family homes of varying size, on a narrow, steeply sloping brownfield site. The end result is a series of houses of high environmental standard and contemporary design. Seen together, it appears as if the houses form part of a village street.

3. Stormy Castle, Gower

Loyn & Co, Cardiff

Stormy Castle is a purpose-designed, Code 5, family home constructed in a remote location in Gower, on the edge of National Trust land and within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The brief was to design a contemporary dwelling that responds sensitively to the site, creating a timeless, high quality architectural solution that would be carefully integrated into the landscape. Essential to the brief was the desire for the house to be low energy, low maintenance and sustainable.

4. Talgarth Mill and Café Regeneration, Talgarth

Hoole & Walmsley Architects, Crickhowell and Dinas Powys

Funded as part of the National Lottery, Village SOS and People & Places initiatives, this major restoration of a Grade II Listed flour mill formed part of a regeneration programme for Talgarth in the Brecon Beacons National Park. The derelict mill buildings were fully restored and a working watermill created with the addition of new water wheel and mill workings. The bakery and offices were housed in the original cottage. The original commercial shop was refurbished and re-opened and a new café constructed on the riverside.

5. New Barn, Llandysul

Rural Office for Architecture, Newcastle Emlyn’s

A replacement barn built in the grounds of the architect’s farmstead. Its frame is designed to allow for future flexibility, such as conversion to artist studios, holiday accommodation, bunkhouse or workshops. It’s currently being used as a temporary home. The project was self-build, so was designed to be easy to erect and clad without the need for heavy plant and machinery.

6. Y Ffwrnais, Llanelli 

Lawray Architects, Cardiff

Creation of a new 500-seat theatre and integration of the Zion Chapel and the Sunday School, which are Grade 2 star listed and were located adjacent to the site. The Zion Chapel was created into office units for social enterprise businesses; the Sunday School offered a new place of worship for the congregation and a flexible studio theatre for 100 people. The development was progressed in full consultation with the community, including interested groups such as amateur dramatic players and the County Disability Group.