David Levitt OBE
Studio Bark Projects
Warren Lodge involved the design and construction of a 100m² low energy timber barn prototype using only UK sourced materials and built by a team of architecture students – most of whom had never picked up a tool before. Surrounded by quintessential Norfolk countryside, the remote site is located on an idyllic former rabbit warren, accessible only via a long winding track.
Warren Lodge is a modern interpretation of a traditional Norfolk barn, with a Dutch-style kick in the roof however, the innovation lay in the detailing. All the building materials originated in the UK. The whitewood structural timber comes from Britain, licensed and FSC certified. The handmade clay roof tiles also comes from the UK as do the trusses. The custom steel gussets are locally made, while the barn is clad in reclaimed bricks and local Douglas fir. Specifically, the interior of the building has been left unfinished, exposing the insulation while enhancing the impact of the two large exposed timber trusses.
“I think that architectural students these days, particularly in the era of Design & Build and particularly working for the larger architectural practices, get almost no experience at all of what it’s like to work on site, what the issues are and we hope this will be a really invaluable experience for them… because it’s most unlikely that they’ll get it anywhere else.”
David Levitt OBE, Warren Lodge client and founder of Levitt Bernstein Architects
About Bark Live Build 2015
Bark Live Build seeks to bridge the gap between architectural education and the on-site application of architecture. In reality, students can graduate from university with very little understanding of materials, construction terminology, or technical detailing. Hence, opening up the construction of Warren Lodge as a student build project enabled us to pass on these practical and professional skills. The students learned how to run a site and programme, interpret drawings, gain ‘hands-on’ carpentry, joinery and roofing skills – all on an actual project for a real client; with very real budgets and deadlines, acquiring skills that they can take forward into their architectural careers.
Over a period of three months, we ate, slept and lived on site with the students, teaching them how to use tools and work with each other, arranging tutorials with consultants and suppliers on site so they could pass on their best practice knowledge to the students. You can follow an archive of the daily site progress on Twitter by clicking #BarkLiveBuild, and read our (almost) weekly reports on our Build Blog.
Being involved in this project has been really influential for me; it’s given me aspirations for what I’d like to do in the future… It’s also given me a broad range of skills, such as roofing, which I’d quite like to explore in the future. – Nathan Riches, student, Northumbria University
Before I did #BarkLiveBuild, you’d draw two lines and they’d stand up, because on paper, anything stands up and it doesn’t have to work, so this is mainly just actual, valuable knowledge. – Rachel Yemitan, student, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
Bethany Scott, Northumbria University
Daniel Wilkins, University of Brighton
Funto Thompson, The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL
Jason Boamah, University of East London
Imaan Hanif, University of East London
Melvin Wong Qi Han, University of East London
Nathan Rich, Northumbria University
Rachel Jones, Oxford Brookes University
Rachel Yemitan, The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL
Vasco Raposo, University of East London
Wilson Lam, University of East London
Zhi Yoong Law, University of East London
“Being involved in this project has been really influential for me; it’s given me aspirations for what I’d like to do in the future… It’s also given me a broad range of skills, such as roofing, which I’d quite like to explore in the future.”
“Before I did #BarkLiveBuild, you’d draw two lines and they’d stand up, because on paper, anything stands up and it doesn’t have to work, so this is mainly just actual, valuable knowledge.”
Consultants & Suppliers
BSW Timber Structural timber
Wienerberger Handmade clay pan tiles
Timby Traditional Roofing Roofing specialist
Back to Earth Natural wood fibre insulation
Midland Lead Lead suppliers
Stand Engineers Structural engineer
TRADA Timber consultant
Coillte SmartPly OSB
Anson Timber Works Timber trusses
Mulholland Media Film production
Eastern Counties Sawmilling Mobile sawmill
Berry Hall Woodlands
Whole House Energy
Grown in Britain
Royal Forestry Society
TRADA Timber Research & Development Association
Studio Bark Projects Team
What others have said
“Truly inspirational, it touched so many – all involved can be rightly proud.” – Grown in Britain via Twitter
“An inspiring story encouraging people into construction – the message on sustainable products and innovation inspire the self build market.” – Nathan Garnett, Event Director, UK Construction Week
Watch our short 14 minute film about the unique construction and thinking behind Warren Lodge. Featuring insights from the client David Levitt, Studio Bark’s Wilf Meynell and Nick Newman, plus members of the student team.
Don’t have time to watch the whole film? Take a look at a 2 minute timelapse of the project instead.