Burraton Barn | South Hams, Devon | 2015
Originally converted in the 1980s, this barn in the South Hams in Devon was confused and cramped, and all sense of the original building had been lost through piecemeal alterations and additions. The entrance was hidden and cramped, with tight and unusable circulation spaces and rooms randomly placed across the two floors. Living spaces were disconnected and impractical. An extension built in the 90s had created a well proportioned kitchen and snug connected to the garden, but had not addressed the fundamental issued with the original layout.
The project started with a careful analysis of the existing condition and a series of proposals to strip out and rationalise the layout, while maintaining those features that worked. The living accommodation was consolidated downstairs, a redundant staircase was removed, and a new range of bedrooms was inserted upstairs. The remaining stair was reconfigured to allow a generous vaulted space to access the upstairs gallery hallway.
A spacious entrance porch was added alongside the existing extension, wrapped in timber cladding to tie these elements together and make a coherent whole. This element unlocks the ground floor, allowing generous broken plan living on the ground floor, focussed on a new hearth. Behind the hearth a hidden stair opens up to the roof revealing the volume of the original barn, and the first floor is reorganised around a light filled and airy gallery. These new circulation spaces give a release and contrast to the compartmentalised nature of domestic life and provide connections and glimpses to spaces beyond.
The use of timber linings and boardmarked concrete gives these spaces a gravity and stature that relate to the original structure. Light and views are maximised through new windows and vertical oak cladding tie the additions into the agricultural setting.