Images of a barn

The design process of our barn project is well underway but where does one start? A glimpse into our thought pattern!

 

With the palette....

Armed with a selection of existing construction materials of course, such as bricks in terracotta, sandstone and chalk. We then started to create a palette, we love the unstable look of the metre thick flint walls wouldn't the flint stones look great with sharp rendered borders to give a crisp edge to for the new openings?

Terracotta colour bricks can then be patterned in a way to achieve a beautiful almost woven-like texture in the floor which when combined with an underfloor heating system gives a cosy surface perfect in the chillier months.

brick texture floor
brick texture floor

And then the envelope...

The existing barn is pierced with vast swathes of glass originating from the 70s. Single glazed safety glass with spindly metal frames. We carried out a lot of research looking at a number of companies who produce glass for building conservation. The aim is to get an elegant slim frame with deep profile to provide a striking but strong outline and rhythm to the property. The look of the refined framing against the undulating flint and pan tiles gives a good contrast and a luxurious touch to a once working barn building with openings to the elements.

After a visit to Architect@work this year we happened upon Capoferri . An Italian window manufacturer who produces large glazed units with thin bronzed frames who have worked with the likes of Renzo Piano is some of the more remote areas of the US. Perfect for a coastal retreat.

Capoferri windows
Capoferri windows

The structure....

The ceiling of the main space of the first floor is to be opened up. New timber trusses are to be introduced to give back the characteristic barn interior look. The repetitive pattern of the trusses will add structure for the large span roof and add interest to the space which has the most amazing view over the marshes. Investigating the design of the trusses, brings up a lot of questions - larch or green oak? , standard or scissor truss? modern or classic?. Looking at Japanese methods we might decide to incorporate complex jointing between the wood to give a elegant beauty (whilst avoiding any unnecessary steel) to the ceiling.

Neues Museum Berlin
Neues Museum Berlin

Old vs new, how to blend the two?

Bulging brick walls and perfectly linear concrete stair balustrades as shown in the Neues Museum in Berlin by David Chipperfield. The image shows well how a delicate intervention can work well, keeping the historic fabric intact, whilst adapting the building to accommodate new roles. We have to understand how to relate every old piece of building to the new. How to align new walls with bellying flint, how new framed doors and windows will sit in the deep stone walls pre-empting everything that a builder will encounter.

It's an enjoyable ongoing process and we travel back to the East Coast tomorrow. We will report more when we start detailing the internal elements and materials, to create atmospheric relaxed spaces!