Homeowners Jeremy Witt and Hannah Smith have converted this listed timber and brick barn on the Essex/Sussex border to create a light-filled contemporary home that celebrates the building’s cathedral-like proportions.
Planning permission for the barn’s conversion was lengthy but ultimately successful. The design retains the original floorplan, including all the large agricultural openings created when the building was erected in 1836.
Externally, the original oversized openings, Welsh slate roof and brick walls sit alongside new larch cladding, which has been left to weather to its natural silver grey.
Internally, the barn’s original cruciform central space forms the kitchen, dining and circulation areas, with smaller spaces flowing off for bedrooms, a library and study. The design also incorporates contemporary detailing such as simple rooflights and large unadorned openings.
Fixing the roof was a huge and time-sensitive part of the renovation, with a team of four roofers working solidly for three months. They stripped and reused 12,000 Welsh roof slates from demolished buildings on site, and installed local Douglas fir timbers and insulation for the warm roof construction.
- Project: Brick and timber barn conversion
- Location: Essex/Suffolk border
- Barn cost: £249,000
- Build cost: £500,000
- Building work commenced: Oct 2013
- Current value of property: £1.7m