HERITAGE | BARN CONVERSION | RESIDENTIAL

Porch Barn

This project is now on site and we captured the jacking of the roof in the time-lapse video opposite.

The owners of this beautiful listed barn acquired the building as a windfall, when they purchased their cottage. Our research into the history of the barn revealed that it was an open-fronted cattle barn with an adjacent bull house, dating from the late 17th to early 18th century. The sensitive location of the barn within the Conservation Area and Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as well as its listed status, demanded a considered approach.

The client approached us with a challenging brief to celebrate the beautiful structure and materials of the barn while also creating a two bedroomed house fit for modern living. Although the barn already came with planning permission and listed building consent for conversion into a dwelling, the design was not tailored to its new owner’s needs.  This gave us a great opportunity to create a bespoke design for the client as the principle of conversion had already been established.

We explored a number of concepts, testing strategies for circulation and entrance points in the barn, while keeping the intervention into the historic fabric to a minimum. The preferred design involved reinstating the floor and creating a ‘pod’ structure in the two storey barn which acted as the main circulation zone and as a dividing screen to separate the bedrooms and bathrooms. The single storey barn was designed as an open-plan living area, with a dividing screen constructed from reclaimed timber from the barn, delineating the entrance from the main space. Internally, the existing stone walls and timber beams is complemented a simple material palette comprising of rough plastered walls and timber boarding, referencing the building’s agricultural roots.

The conservation officer supported this design approach and planning and listed building consent were granted in August 2021.

Proposed Sections 

Construction started on the project in Spring 2022, with the first challenge to ensure the building was structurally sound. The barn had experienced considerable movement over the years including a pronounced lean of the trusses in the single-storey section.

 

Initial discussions with the engineer and analysis of nearby structures, suggested that there may have been padstones under the timber posts on this elevation, the theory was that they were removed at some point which caused the consistent lean of the trusses. In close collaboration with the engineer, conservation officer and contractor, we devised a strategy to “jack up” the roof structure to its former position and reinstate the padstones. This would ensure the building was structurally sound and robust as the base of the timber posts would be protected from the elements by the new stones.

The theory was put into practice and we documented the results in a time lapse video and through the course of the work the historic straddle stones were found under the later concrete slab, these have now be reinstated.

The work has been progressing quickly with construction due for completion Autumn 2022, follow the progress on the client’s Instagram