The client approached us with the idea of converting a disused threshing barn set within the curtilage of a grade 2* listed Devon farmhouse into a highly energy-efficient annex.
The existing structure was in a poor state of repair but contained features of interest; thick rubble stone walls and original hardwood trusses. The barn also benefited from a spectacular backdrop with uninterrupted views thirty miles towards Exmoor.
The intention was to retain and restore the qualities of the traditional building, whilst also creating a modern and comfortable new living space for the property.
A design was developed closely with the homeowner, towards an open-plan arrangement allowing for individual living areas to occupy the ground floor without the need to split these into separate rooms. These areas are anchored by a central double-height hall containing large bifold doors and roof glazing. This makes the most of the views North and provides a bright, flexible space for dining, working and entertaining guests.
The design called for an extension to the barn which is constructed from a combination of traditional and modern materials to give a natural external appearance. Standing seam zinc was used for the roof, together with British Larch cladding and Cornish stone for the walls, which allow the building to weather and blend into the landscape.
The homeowners was interested in sustainability measures which would ensure high levels of comfort but remain low maintenance and user friendly.
A new timber stud wall was built inside the existing masonry allowing a significant upgrade to the insulation levels and air-tightness of the building. A Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR) unit was installed to provide continuous background ventilation, maintaining a cosy environment through-out the year.
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