We are adding a house to a loosely distributed village in a north Wales valley, where the predominant detached house type is the chalet bungalow formed of familiar residential components with comparatively flimsy layers of cladding. Rather than adopting this modern vernacular, we have opted instead to add to the collection of robust Victorian, predominantly industrial, buildings that were built during the area’s heyday as a spa town; buildings of material richness and unapologetic ambition. The resulting new house appears as a bold presence on the hillside; a resistant outcrop of clay bricks. Perhaps it may even appear as a re-inhabited ruin from this previous, more specific and proudly civic era.