Hay Castle Restoration Powys, Wales


Alison Brooks Architects was shortlisted to regenerate Hay Castle as a new epicentre for Hay’s literary and artistic culture.

ABA’s proposal is underpinned by three interconnected ideas…

1. A Home for the Literary Imagination

With the restoration of the House and its West Wing the Castle can become the literal and metaphorical home for literary culture and creative writing in Hay. The Jacobean House as a domestic setting is reinvigorated and subtly transformed for the exchange of ideas, for reading and for enjoyment of all the arts. A dramatic new Great Hall provides a focus for exhibitions and events while revealing the history of the house through its material.

2. A Celebration of Timber Craftsmanship

The restoration of its monumental timber structures alongside contemporary interventions to Castle House and the Keep can make Hay Castle a showcase for timber engineering, masterful woodworking and sustainable re-construction. The combination of structural integrity and Jacobean inspired iconography can give the Castle a unique and refreshing identity, deeply rooted in its place.

3. A Synthesis of Old and New:

A Garden Belvedere Set within a reimagined Castle Garden, a new timber framed garden pavilion can serve as a romantic garden idyll and highly functional project showroom, community tea room and workspace. This multi-purpose space can activate and poetically enhance the Castle grounds, both during and after the Hay Castle reconstruction project.