The barracks are a lasting symbol of the Welsh slate industry, a place associated with skilled labour and national pride. When considering how to design within this space, heritage factored enormously into each decision. A sensitive approach to the barracks themselves felt right, with the intention of maintaining the original form of the building. The presence of an intervention is indicated, however, through the updated material palate used in contrast to the rugged existing slate. Overall, regenerating the barracks as they were felt to be the right direction, rather than a totally transformative scheme.
The extension draws its form from the existing barracks, by mimicking and continuing the dimensions of the ‘street’, and by extending itself along the barracks’ own direction of growth. Accommodation is directed towards the views down the landscape, and communal spaces sit in the centre of the whole scheme. The ‘street’ penetrates both the old and new phases, unifying the hostel through space and materiality.
The scheme aims to celebrate the views, geology, weather and – most importantly – the barracks of Llanberis, with a sensitive and focused view on heritage, and an extension which grows from the resources provided by the site.