A cluster of derelict agricultural buildings has been brought back to life as a stunning home with an eco-friendly spin. London-based architecture studio Liddicoat & Goldhill designed the Ancient Party Barn, a green renovation project that won a prestigious 2015 RIBA South East regional award for their playful and beautiful take on barn conversions. Located near Folkestone in Kent, the home boasts gorgeous views of the countryside and is outfitted with state-of-the-art energy-efficient features, including a ground-source heat pump and low-energy LEDs.
Designed as a holiday retreat and design studio, the 2,250-square-meter Ancient Party Barn was made possible thanks to successful architect-client collaboration. The clients, digital designer John Sinclair and fashion designer Deborah Harvey, did not limit the architects with specific programmatic demands. Instead, they focused on preserving the structures’ character and historical integrity, working with the architects to creatively reuse salvaged materials.
The fragments of the 18th century barn buildings—which comprise a threshing barn, dairy, and stables—were integrated with exposed industrial-scale kinetic mechanisms that give the structures an edgy contemporary vibe and open parts of the facade up to key countryside views. An American aircraft-hanger, for instance, lifts a concertina door up on the east side, while an adapted chain-lift operates barn door-inspired insulated shutters.
The combination of recycled materials and high-tech solutions are found in other parts of the house, from the interior design to the facade. While the original green oak framing was restored and reused, the structures only appear to be timber-framed. The main barn is actually supported by a steel exoskeleton and clad with a super-insulated industrial SIP system. The energy-efficient Ancient Party Barn is also heated via a ground-source heat pump. LEDs are used in reclaimed light fittings. The clients are also given the option to control the heating, lighting, and security systems remotely.
Images via Liddicoat & Goldhill, by Keith Collie and Will Scott