Yr Ysgwrn Farmhouse is the former home of the renowned welsh poet, Ellis Humphrey Evans. Better known by his bardic name, Hedd Wyn, he was posthumously awarded the Bardic Chair at the 1917 National Eisteddfod of Wales having been killed at the Battle of Passchendaele six weeks previous.
Max Fordham worked on the renovation of the listed farmhouse and associated historic buildings to form a new visitor centre and exhibition space, café and site office. Yr Ysgwrn is still a working farm and, as part of the renovation work, a new barn was constructed in a new context to replace the old metal barn adjacent to the historic farmhouse.
The works to the farmhouse focused on conservation and low impact services installations, we adopted a policy of intervening only where necessary. Conservation heating maintains a stable environment to protect the fabric and the chattels for future generations. In the parlwr we embedded heating into the walls to keep it a simple, uncluttered space for the Eisteddfod chair to be displayed, while discreet lighting in the cegin enhances the unique atmosphere.
The project achieved a low carbon footprint using considered conservation techniques, low impact upgrades to the building fabric and a biomass-fuelled heat network for the site. As part of the overall works the site utility infrastructure was upgraded to provide commercial robustness and consolidated to reduce visual impact and restore the site to its historic setting.
The buildings were designed to be secure, easily maintainable (a key consideration given the sites highly remote setting within the Snowdonia National Park) and flexible for day-to-day use as a visitor and education centre.