Simon Janes Chartered Architectural Technologist
Birch Acre Barn
Conversion of derelict barn into a residential dwelling.
The client had acquired a redundant derelict barn, having previously been part of a working farm with the intention of converting the building into a 4 bedroomed home.
As with nearly all barn conversions the main challenge is to provide a suitable internal layout for a house in a long narrow building as well as creating space at first floor level whilst avoiding alteration to existing structural roof and masonry elements. Planning policy and Local Authorities are particularly sensitive with regard to not changing and detracting from the agricultural appearance of farm buildings, with treatment of openings and repairs and alteration to the masonry and roof being paramount.
The design incorporated a new first floor to house three bedrooms and two bathrooms whist retaining ‘full height’ spaces at two areas of the building. The bedrooms were split to either side of the ‘drift-way’ and accessed by two separate staircases. At ground floor level the ‘drift-way’ was utilised as a dining space open to both the kitchen on one side, and the lounge area on the other, a large internal opening was made between the kitchen and old ‘lean to’ stores which made a great ‘snug’ room with access too two of the bedrooms above. To the space beyond the kitchen we sited a cloakroom, small study and utility, and the space to the side of the living room was utilised for the entrance hall the master bedroom with full height ceilings and an en suite bathroom.
We were fortunate that the original barn had several large openings together with windows and doors that were all utilised for new doors, screens and windows, only requiring the addition of one small new opening and the inclusion of several conservation style roof-lights for the bedroom accommodation. All were pleased that that completed property had characterful and well laid out accommodation with many original structural elements remaining exposed, whilst retaining a sympathetic exterior which did not detract from the agricultural roots of the building.