It’s not every day we come across a simple rural barn filled with beautiful sculptures and artwork so today we’re excited to check out a very special project completed in 2021 by architect Thomas Randall-Page. It’s called The Art Barn and it’s located in Dartmoor, a rural area in the United Kingdom. The main idea behind it was to take a very basic agricultural barn and to transform it into a studio with an archive and a space to store large sculptures in.
When you look at it from the outside the barn doesn’t really stand out much and that was actually the idea behind its design. It was meant to have a utilitarian aesthetic and to resemble a hermetically sealed box. In order to make that happen the architect clad the barn in vertical wood boards from top to bottom, with a few sections where a galvanized steel skin can also be seen. This helps to create a smooth transition between textures and to allow the barn to fit into the landscape more seamlessly.
For the interior of the barn, the plan was to create three distinct areas with specific functions. One was meant to be an archive which had to be well-insulated, airtight and to maintain a specific humidity level. Another area would be a space where sculptures and artwork can be stored and displayed and the third area would function as an art studio. The last two areas needed to be filled with natural light and to enjoy a close connection to the exterior so in order to make that possible the architect included a series of large industrial shutters that blend in perfectly with the wooden exterior cladding of the barn.