Ty Twt (Welsh for Small home)


This project in Powys, Wales was set in a small clearing in an Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) woodland. Our client wanted to blur the lines between interior and exterior and create something that fits into the landscape. The house had to be eco-friendly, healthy to live in and affordable.


Ty Twt is 30sqm internally, with a 12.5sqm mezzanine. The budget was £50,000.

To achieve the brief we used large glass sliding doors on the South and West sides. The open plan nature of the space gives a larger feel and keeps the connection to the outside throughout the house. A large wrap around deck is soon to be constructed to further connect inside and outside space.

Local materials and materials traditional to the area were used. Lots of wooden features echo the surroundings, much with the waney edge left on and all sourced from the local area.


Using our unique educational build method, we were able to utilise the materials on site and recondition the reclaimed materials. The students received hands-on experience and education in natural building and green design in return for some good hard work. This meant that the project stayed on budget and used the most sustainable local materials.

Time Lapse Video

Watch the video for a start-to-finish build example. Make sure you’re paying extra attention at 01:31 when the bales go in and the magic really starts to happen.

  • "We commissioned Hartwyn to design and build a small straw bale house which they accomplished with great expertise, flair and enthusiasm.
    We are now the proud owners of a perfect Hartwyn eco dwelling which is not only beautiful but practical. It has a green roof and low impact tyre foundations.
    We look forward to enjoying our new home for years to come."
    Rina & Tim
    Rina & Tim