ProjectTwin Barn Farm

LocationSouth Norfolk


Costhouse £475,000, workshop £100,000

ContractorOliver Clarke


Aesthetics and environmental excellence come together for a unique home featuring artisan workshop spaces

Aesthetics and environmental excellence come together for a unique home featuring artisan workshop spaces

Twin Farm Barn achieves exceptional standards both in environmental performance, and design aesthetics. The relationship between client and architect was characterized with a healthy dose of perfectionism, and energetic enthusiasm, leading to an outcome that is both architecturally exciting and the client’s “dream home”.

The design for Twin Barn Farm had to negotiate the challenges of planning policy in its rural Norfolk location. The project required a thoughtful conversion of the steel framed shed with minimal impact on the external aesthetic. The solution was for the home to sit within the existing barn structure, while space has also been created to accommodate local craft businesses. This innovative approach to permitted development has resulted in a spatially exciting and energy efficient family home and furniture workshop.

Barn conversion Norfolk
Birds flying in the sky
New build timber home
Contemporary barn conversion
A barn conversion in the Norfolk countryside
Wildflowers and grasses surround the landscape at Twin Barn Farm
Twin Barn Farm, a modern barn conversion in Norfolk

“Studio Bark worked with us, from conception through to completion, to ensure the end result was a spectacular, unique, energy efficient home. The team took our ideas, details of how we wanted to use the space and live our lives, and created a great design. As a result, the house had extremely detailed plans due to the effective partnership between Studio Bark and Structure Workshop. This enabled us to build the house of our dreams.”

- Twin Barn Farm Client

A modern barn conversion timber cladding

Design Approach

Working alongside engineers Structure Workshop, the team developed a solution which allowed the existing steel structure to flex independently from the timber structure of the new house inside. This resulted in a draft-free timber framed house set neatly inside its agricultural shell. Exposed UK sourced glulam timber beams help to define the internal layout and enhance the drama of the space.

The inner and outer skins of this building never touch, leaving a 50mm void at all times. A few of the more subtle building elements elude to these eccentricities; a secondary gutter enters the hopper on the southern gable – unconventional, yet necessary for the twin roof. In addition, the reinstated cement roof includes voids for the automated roof lights. The hand-made cedar shutters sit on runners between the two skins which gives the inhabitants privacy and manually controlled solar shading.

The adjacent furniture workshop – the home’s namesake twin – has a much simpler treatment. This uses the existing steel frame as its primary structure, with timber fibre insulation and an OSB lining inside. This barn also houses the plant room, which includes a Ground Source Heat Pump, a buffer system and associated controls.

Off-grid barn conversion by Studio Bark

Environmental Design

Twin Barn Farm is an incredibly well insulated house. It achieves U values of 0.13W/m²K for the walls, 0.12W/m²K for the roof and 0.10W/m²K for the floor. The triple glazed windows and doors, and the meticulously detailed junctions ensure there are no cold-bridges.

The internal areas of the house are both flexible and adaptable for the current family and future occupiers of the house. The ground floor comprises an open plan kitchen/dining room which also provides a secondary social space to the separate living room. Where possible rooms have a double aspect and every room has good natural daylighting and ventilation. The use of natural and hygroscopic materials reduces heat loss and improves long-term performance.

Twin Barn Farm is an example of the sum being greater than its parts, as the collaboration between client, architect and engineers lead to this visually and environmentally exceptional home.

A modern agricultural barn conversion

Studio Bark Statement

“This is certainly not your standard Norfolk Barn Conversion, and in many ways this is what made it such an interesting challenge. The original barn was built for function rather than aesthetics, however, the double skin approach gives the facade a subtle permeability and adds depth and intrigue to the spaces within. It was great to work with Oliver Clarke client/ furniture maker/ builder; his perfectionism was instrumental to the success of the build.”

Wilf Meynell, Director, Studio Bark

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