The design strategies used when renovating or converting a space into something else are very diverse. In each case the focus is on something else and the strategies used to achieve the desired result are different from other projects. The Ancient Party Barn is a good example.
The building is situated in London and its transformation into a modern home began in September 2012. It was a project by Liddicoat & Goldhill which ended in December 2014. The architecture and design studio we’ve just mentioned was founded in 2011 and has been the receiver of numerous prestigious awards, its projects being exhibited and published in the UK and abroad.
This wasn’t a typical barn conversion in the sense that, although the transformation was dramatic, the style chosen and the materials used in the process don’t stand out very much. In fact, everything was meant to revive the barn’s original character.
The clients, a fashion and a digital designer, were also collectors of salvaged and architectural artifacts and materials, a part of which they wanted to include in their new home. The challenge for the architects was to combine the original barn fragments with these found materials and to make them all look natural.
The transformation of this 18th century barn and stables focused on the creative reuse of the existing volumes and on creating a pleasant and familiar atmosphere. In the first stages of the project, attention was not given to any specific spaces and functions but rather to the structure as a whole.
As part of the conversion, the architects combined salvaged materials with high-tech elements. The barn has a ground-source heat pump which takes care of the inhabitants’ heating and hot water needs. Reclaimed light fixtures were combined with LED lamps and a security system was installed. All these details turned the barn into a comfortable home without destroying its charm.
Massive, insulated shutters reminiscent of the typical barn doors were installed, their role being to increase security and protection but also to allow the structure to integrate into the surroundings more easily.
Large windows open the social areas to the views and the outdoor spaces while also letting abundant natural light in. The East facade has an aircraft hangar door which creates a canopy over the dining terrace/ deck.
Because the original green oak frame was in bad shape, it all had to be disassembled. However, instead of replacing it with new wood, it was repaired and reinstalled. But the timber frame is mainly cosmetic. A steel exoskeleton offers the structure stability and durability.
The interior space was reorganized and completely redesigned but the new look is definitely in sync with everything else. A mezzanine level was added to the main volume. It’s where the sleeping areas and their bathrooms are now located.
An interesting combination between a cone-shaped brick chimney and a steel spiral staircase wrapped around it supports the mezzanine in one corner. At the bottom of it, an open fireplace warms up the atmosphere in the living spaces. This hybrid device is at the core of the barn’s interior design.