Linking internal spaces to the impressive rolling fields of the south
Old Bearhurst is the extensive remodelling of a two-century-old oast house set within agricultural land and defined as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A key objective of the brief was to ‘rediscover' the integrity of the building through careful observation and research where new additions and alterations would work harmoniously to create a new envisioned whole.
The project was aimed at creating a unified series of flowing, contemporary spaces, allowing a greater degree of flexibility, linking internal spaces to the rolling fields to the south, and the higher meadow land to the north. Equally, the brief called for a building with character and personality, respectful of the existing Oast House, and taking advantage of the views and surrounding environment.
The project is defined by two distinct elements; one being the original building with its oast and roundels, and the second being the new lower annex. The original building is given a thorough but sensitive makeover: all non-original elements were removed so the shape, scale and quality of this two-hundred-year-old building is easily discernible against the new annex. The annex itself is a more sculptural and dynamic form of interconnecting volumes clad in vertical timber boarding in contrast to the rough sawn horizontal ship-lapping timber cladding of the oast barn.
The inherent quality of the project is a composition of conjoined volumes each intended to be read as a component of a whole, or cluster, which includes the original barn.