The client, Dr Paul Bromley, had admired the barn and its setting over a number of years on his route to work. When the property went up for auction he decided to bid and successfully purchased the barn and surrounding fields. He appointed John Norfolk as his architect.
The design was challenging, given the barns proportions, so a central link structure was envisaged to solve the circulation problem. This allowed independent access to all rooms within the new design. Having seen other examples, Paul was particularly interested in how an oak framed solution could be utilised. Agricultural barns are often long and thin, so by adding an oak frame to the side, access to the existing stone structure and the rooms within made sense at the design stage. It was decided that a glazed oak structure would also perfectly compliment the existing coursed stonework construction of the farm house and barn.
Combining old with new
The main challenge arose through the integration of the new, precision made, oak frames (conservatory, atrium and roof) against the existing structures whose walls were not level, plumb or true. This was predicted and assessed during the measured survey and was coordinated with Carpenter Oak as the design developed. Because of the green belt sensitivity, the design had to be developed to respect its context. The use of oak frames significantly contributed to the subsequent planning approval.
“Given the above predicted issues the design process was inevitably prolonged. Carpenter Oak continued to provide input and advice throughout this period and detailed drawings and design discussions allowed accurate coordination prior to sign off for manufacture. Inevitable issues were encountered on site but the contributions of their site team were invaluable in determining the successful solutions that were subsequently adopted.” John Norfolk, Architect.
The configuration of the existing buildings did not allow for full plan utilisation or efficient circulation spaces. Through converting the barns and remodelling the farm house the project’s aim was to produce one overall coherent property which responded to its setting. A rear extension, in the form of a two storey glazed oak frame, provides new horizontal and vertical circulation and re-connects the buildings and spaces. The inclusion of the atrium was key in providing a light filled, galleried circulation hub at the heart of the new plan. High levels of thermal insulation and airtightness, together with a ground source heat pump produce a thermally efficient low energy house.