Feeringbury Farm Barn

Wednesday 05 Sep 2012

Adaptive reuse creates unique country home

Grade II listed 16th century Essex barn keeps agricultural integrity as family home.

Hudson Architects were commissioned to convert Feering Bury Farm Barn - a Grade II listed medieval timber-framed barn in Essex - into a family home and artist studios, while retaining as much of the original fabric as possible.

The owners, architects and conservation officers were determined to preserve and exploit the barn’s semi-agricultural appearance, and this, together with an extraordinarily creative partnership between the design team and the owners, has resulted in a bold yet highly successful departure from more traditional barn conversions. 

Original and reclaimed materials have been used extensively, with new structural interventions kept to a minimum. Almost all the original timber-framed structure has been retained, with new timber used sparingly to replace timbers that were no longer usable.

To create private spaces such as bedrooms and bathrooms, two large 20th century internal concrete silos were brought into re-use: one contains an oak spiral staircase leading to a mezzanine bedroom, while the other houses bathrooms serving the ground floor and mezzanine bedrooms. Together the silos separate the bedroom from living space.

The owner, Ben Coode-Adams, worked as design collaborator and project manager, and brought his flair as an artist to the interior design. Thanks to Ben’s input, reclaimed timber is used extensively as panelling and even for items of furniture, and reclaimed metal has also been used imaginatively: such as a hay manger set into a bedroom wall or fragments of metal used for structural bracing.

Externally, a unique roof uses steel mesh to bring daylight into the vast 525 sq m space beneath while complying with conservation officers’ prescription against visible rooflights. Unlike many typical barn conversions, Feeringbury Farm Barn makes no attempt to disguise, soften or erase its agricultural past. Instead the barn’s history and character is laid bare alongside its imaginative and highly eclectic new interior.

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