To transform an 18th century barn in Kent, England, for two designers who collect architectural artifacts, U.K. firm Liddicoat and Goldhill salvaged what it could of the original green oak structure—which had fallen into serious disrepair—and shored up the existing steel and timber framework with new supports, modernizing the interiors along the way.
The results are pretty glorious, and include bright interiors illuminated by a long central skylight, and soaring double-height spaces, like the open-plan combined kitchen and dining room, mixed with traditional ones, like a newly added mezzanine level, which shelters a sitting area below. A spiral staircase, coiled around a tapered brick chimney, leads from the ground level to the mezzanine, which accommodates sleeping quarters under the gable. It all seems rather cozy.
Perhaps the most prominent change to the outside of the barn is the addition of a garage door-like opening mechanism that folds upward to reveal broad windows with views out to the grounds. To boot, the house features sustainable systems and fixturess, including a ground-source heat pump for heat and hot water and low-energy LED lamps.
The architects are also touting the barn as a kind of Smart Home, with security, lighting, and HVAC systems operable remotely for the itinerant couple, which uses the barn as a second home.