The Barn is a proposal for a low-impact eco-home on the grounds of a derelict post-war steel barn. The clients were looking to downsize and have high aspirations for a contemporary, high-performance home, designed to suit their requirements and lifestyle as they get older.
Historic Moat and Manor
The adjacent manor that the site belongs to sits within a 12th century moat. As an important historic feature of the landscape, the proposal reinstates the visual balance of the moat by reducing the visual impact of the buildings which currently sit aside it. Through conversations with the conservation team and Historic England, the proposal is to remove the two post-war structures (a derelict metal barn and garage) and push the proposed footprint further back into its plot to improve the moat’s setting.
Organisational principles are based on the environmental strategy and the need to minimise the visual impact of the home, particularly domestic ‘clutter’.
The proposed Barn is arranged around a dramatic planted atrium that brings light and drama to the spaces. Its design has been optimised to maximise useful thermal gains, whilst avoiding overheating in the summer months through external louvres and high level ventilation.
Visitors enter the home by walking through the length of the atrium. The centralised kitchen benefits from a direct relationship with the atrium, as do the main living and dining spaces. To the south, the same living and dining spaces face the garden and terrace, where solar shading provides protection from overheating caused by the high summer sun.
Materiality + Vernacular
Due to the historically sensitive setting, the specific built language of blackened barns with pantile roofs within the moated site is the starting point for external materiality.
The barns within the moat also showcase a variety of timber structural forms. The Barn uses these as inspiration to create a new timber structure that is very much of its time, and complementary to the creation of a high performance eco-home.
Working with structural engineers, Structure Workshop, a bespoke timber frame is proposed for The Barn which is inspired by the history of the site in a way which reflects modern timber technology and engineering.