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.



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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.

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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.

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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.

+ Adam Knibb Architects

Via Archdaily

Images via James Morris