The reinterpretation of a succession of farms from the Georgian, Victorian and modern eras.

A challenge with barn conversions is the preservation of elevations so that they are not unduly affected by domestic alterations. Within our office, this led to discussion about where openings could be formed without harm and how to maximise light in large domestic spaces. Inventive designs were proposed for each building that made use of centrally lit internal courtyards, tall porch barn openings, ventilation slit windows and lightweight modern links.

Ecological requirements were understood from the outset and designed in rather than added on. A barn owl opening, a traditional architectural feature of barns to control pests, was reintroduced as such and a variety of roosts and light sampling rooms were created to house numerous species of bats.

Balancing the heritage, ecological and design matters against an intensification of use was critical to the project – it made the project viable, setting it apart from previous schemes. We believe that unless historic buildings find long term uses their survival cannot be ensured, but also that we have a responsibility to make positive, sensitive and justifiable interventions.

The project team included Ashford Homes, Structural Solutions, Ecosulis (suveyors).