12 Feb
A New Use for an Old Barn A New Use for an Old Barn

A New Use for an Old Barn

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Drive for a length of time through most any countryside, and you're likely to come across a structure that's seen better days. Some, when abandoned, stay that way until they fall down, never to rise again.

Not so with Black Barn, a new architectural project in the Suffolk region of England. Once a barely standing collection of timbers, boards, and shingles, the barn has been re-imagined and rebuilt as an off-the-grid home whose design fits in with area agricultural structures.

The project has been undertaken by design firm Studio Bark, which describes the project as "a rigorously environmental 'paragraph 79' family home", referring to a section of the 2018 National Planning Policy Framework relating to constructing new isolated domiciles in open countryside settings.

Because the designers wished to have as little impact as possible on the buildings surroundings, Black Barn has been built as "a floating sculptural form surrounded by wild grass meadow".

The form of the building grew out of environmental considerations such as shading, solar heat gain, and passive ventilation. All of this has been intended to create an ongoing conversation of sorts "with the seasonal and diurnal rhythms of the site".

Studio Bark partnered with engineering firm Structure Workshop to create an efficient solution for Black Barn, using UK-sourced Douglas Fir trusses to create a compelling upward roofline and to frame views of the nearby countryside. The windows face south, but are set back so that the building can "self-shade" during summer and also take advantage of passive heat during winter. A domestic garden area sits behind a curved wall of flint.

The cost to build Black Barn amounted to £932,000, with off-grid costs running £75,000.

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Read 1145 times Last modified on Thursday, 31 January 2019 08:05
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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