What was to be an extension to an existing dwelling, quickly became a new build when it became apparent that homeowner, Craig MacAlpine’s, existing building had structural issues.
“Putting an extension on the old building would have been like putting lipstick on a pig! It was a blessing in disguise that it wasn’t fit for purpose.” Craig MacAlpine
Inspired by a visit to the Carpenter Oak Show Barn and workshops, the MacAlpine family fell in love with the oak frame and craftsmanship on display. They are now the proud owners of their New England style, oak frame, two storey home, built amongst two acres in a countryside location.
While it was not their intention to become self-builders, they were glad that circumstances steered them towards a new build.
Traditional barn style living in a contemporary design
The traditional barn style room is the main feature of the house and includes a sling brace cross frame and dragon ties which create the perfect ambience to the family room. Behind the common rafters, the painted roof sarking adds to the rhythm and texture of the frame. The raised bottom plates lift the base of the frame above floor height, adding character and contributing to the intimate quality of the barn room.
The first floor is seated on an oak ring beam providing a continuation of oak through the ground floor. Three internal oak screens work to naturally compartmentalise the open plan living.
Led by Roderick James Architects, the MacAlpines went from wanting a traditional design layout to something quite contemporary, better catering for their needs as a family.
Glazed joinery units, a new glazing system
The MacAlpine home is one of the earliest examples of a Carpenter Oak project that utilises a new glazing system. It is common to use direct glazing systems in oak framed homes. The MacAlpine property uses joinery units that are meticulously designed to match the frame while retaining the same internal appearance as direct glazing.
There are several advantages to having separate glazing units. The width is not limited as in the case of the applied units. Generally, separate glazing units are more airtight – an essential consideration with current and future building regulations. They tend to be cheaper and if using a composite frame, can have a reduced maintenance cost. They offer a different aesthetic, more options in design and almost limitless colours.