Anglesey Barracks Youth Hostel
The Anglesey Barracks Youth Hostel is a 72+ bed hostel proposed to be situated within Electric Mountain in Snowdonia, North Wales. Carrying the rich history of North Wales’ slate industry, the hostel celebrates its heritage with the preservation of two rows of slate barracks that housed industry workers. The new intervention extends these two masses from either side to create new social spaces through the reiteration of the existing courtyard, while maintaining the existing site as a focal point. To connect the old with the new, a perpendicular axis is introduced as a spinal route for visitors, in which the final destination is a common room that commemorates the barracks’ sense of community, while also inviting users to observe the picturesque surroundings.
The building responds to the site by respecting the boundaries created by mountain grooves and is nestled within a flat area. Private rooms are located in the back of the building and are stacked in alignment with the topography as it grows higher and to allow lake views for each room.
In respect to heritage, the front barracks are left untouched to educate visitors on the hostel’s significance as they enter the site. The new intervention uses a different material, limestone, for a contrast in colour but respect in scale. Local and sustainable materials are used, as well as East-to-South glazed facades for solar gain during the winter. The timber framework and internal cladding also allows quick heat absorption and release into each room.