Traditional design gets a contemporary twist from rodney black design studio
Our client’s brief was to provide a self-contained residential annex with large living space, kitchen with views to the surrounding fields and a building that follows the form of traditional oak framed Suffolk barns. The new building meets those objectives. The large family space is a world in itself – being in it our clients describe as being always on holiday. Large windows to the south and north and high windows to the east and west give extraordinary variations of natural light during the course of the day.
The specific building type is the green oak barn, examples of which are still standing and sound after 800 years. This design evolves the type by tectonic treatment of the interconnecting spaces, the use of purlin arch brace arcades to give the roof structure a fugal rhythm and by the outshot mezzanines which allude to an aisled barn structure and create a spatial dialogue within the main space. The construction is largely of timber – green (by which is meant freshly felled and sawn) oak and softwood weatherboards together with natural clay products with a very long life span and reusability on eventual demolition; it has very high levels of insulation and windows with argon filled double glazing and low emissivity glass.
Heating is currently provided by a condensing boiler, but the building is designed to be heated by ground source heat pump using the adjacent 300 metre pond as a heat source. The materials used internally are oak, white plaster and stone floor flags resembling purbeck marble, while externally, black weatherboard, black joinery and black pantiles. The materials have been chosen for their own intrinsic beauty, to sit comfortably in the open Suffolk landscape and to relate to the sixteenth century oak framed house and converted stable wing.