Bringing historic structures back to life is a challenge for any architect, but when the building goes back to 1792, the task is incredibly delicate. Adam Knibb Architects were recently charged with adding a contemporary extension to a protected and locally-adored historic barn in Alresford, Hampshire, UK. Working with local preservation organizations, the architects managed to maintain the original structure while seamlessly incorporating a new luminous living space within the aptly-named Hurdle House.
Having been used for the original sheep fairs as far back as 1792, the structure is a beloved landmark for the small town and considered “a gem of Industrial Archaeology”. As such, the renovation process would be a delicate one of finding a secure way of adding contemporary additions without harming the original barn structure.
The home is set into a large detached barn with a front and back garden, affording incredible views of the surrounding greenery. To blend the new extension into the original barn structure, a pre-fabricated CLT timber frame was chosen for the exterior cladding. This decision was also key in cutting down construction time.
As for the design itself, the architects focused on the home’s natural-setting as a key element in the renovation process. Working with the Winchester Conservation department, they were granted permission to remove a rear bay window to connect the home to a new extension, which would become the primary living space of the home. To open the connection, but create a sense of boundary, a frameless glass partition was used to connect the old structure to the new.
The new extension houses the large kitchen and dining area, along with a small living space and study. To separate the distinctive uses of the public areas from the private spaces, the designers used a series of visual barriers in lieu of doors or other physical obstacles. Large glass windows and doors flood the interior with natural light.
Images via James Morris