photographer: ©James Brittain
The project was aimed at creating a series of flowing contemporary spaces, expressed as a sculptural cluster of interconnecting volumes. Clad entirely in vertically oriented timber boarding, these volumes are intended to contrast the original Oast barn which is finished in a rough sawn horizontal ship-lapping timber.
The client was a young and growing family of three, requiring more space to accommodate child’s play as ell as home working for both wife and husband, each with their own successful career one in journalism and the other in development and regeneration, respectively. The project was aimed at creating a unified series of flowing, contemporary spaces, allowing a greater degree of flexibility, linking internal spaces to the impressive rolling fields to the south, and the higher meadow land to the north. Equally, the brief called for a building with character and personality, respectful of the existing Oast house, and taking advantage of the views and surrounding environment.
A key objective of the brief was to ‘rediscover’ the integrity of the building through careful observation and research where new additions and alterations would work harmoniously to create a new envisioned whole. However, the core ambition was to create a dwelling, which over time would come to reflect an exemplar approach to contemporary rural renovation work; and to create a flexible living environment for the growing family within the exceptional surroundings.
The project is defined by two distinct elements; one being the original building with its oast and roundels, and the second being the new lower annex. The contrast between these two elements is expressed both through the articulation of form as well as material detail and treatment.
The original building is given a thorough but sensitive makeover. Firstly all non original elements were removed, including the garage and study extension, the kitchen wing, dormers and chimney breast, faux Victorian railings, plastic piping and of course all internal finishes and fixings. The replacement treatments were selected following an analysis of the likely original condition, including a rough sawn ship-lapped green oak cladding added between the eaves and down to first floor level, windows were relocated as a simple symmetrical grid across all elevations and framed in locally sourced oak, the roof was fully repaired with recycled clay tiles from the demolished kitchen extension and dormers were removed.
In this way, from whichever vantage point, we believe the shape, form, scale and quality of this two hundred year old building is easily discernible against the new annex. The annex itself is an altogether more sculptural and dynamic form of interconnecting volumes entirely clad in a stable, durable, engineered timber boarding, orientated vertically, in contrast to the rough sawn horizontal ship-lapping timber cladding of the oast barn. In plan terms, the new annex is located over the foot print of the removed outbuildings, and intentionally so in the context of the planning policies governing this project. Equally, the external massing and form of the building is very much an expression of the internal function of each room, with heights and window positions clarifying the building programme. The inherent quality of the project is thus a composition of conjoined volumes each intended to be read as a component of a whole, or cluster, which includes the original barn.
Material: ‘Plato wood’ ‘Frake’ planned to ‘Exloo’ profile
Manufacturer: Plato International BV
Supplier: ‘Ecochoice Ltd’ or equivalent approved
Species: FSC certified ‘Plato wood’ ‘Frake’
Profile: Planned to ‘Exloo’ profile. 18x139mm with eased edges
Design team: Duggan Morris Architects