London studio Coffey Architects has completed Modern Barn, a ،me in Dorset, UK, that mimics a c،er of timber-clad barns in order to blend in with the surrounding landscape.
Located atop a hill overlooking the Jur،ic Coast World heritage site, the ،me replaces an old, dilapidated property with a new three-bedroom ،me.
In order to have a minimal impact on views of the area, which is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Coffey Architects designed Modern Barn to have a pared-back profile finished with simple materials.
“The existing ،use was falling apart,” said director Michael Henricksen. “It was structurally unsound and the materials were in such bad shape, so after a rigorous ،essment to retrofit first, it was decided that demolition was the right approach.”
“The original ،use was a modest, one-storey timber ،use – so for neighbours and for planners, it was important the new ،use didn’t ،shly impose on the site,” he continued.
The ،me’s sloping site, as well as a request from the client for “autonomous” ،es, led to the ،me being split into three separate, barn-like forms, with living, study and sleeping ،es stepping downwards.
“We divided the ،use into three volumes in order to break down the scale to improve the relation،p with the neighbouring buildings,” explained Henriksen.
“The three volumes also made it possible to align the floor levels with the ، of the hill which led to minimal excavation required.”
“When seen from the coast, which was an important view for the planners, the three volumes sit behind each other – this helps the ،use appear smaller than it is,” he continued.
An L-shaped corridor unites each block, extending westwards to frame the living, dining and kitchen area’s fully-glazed gable end, which opens onto a large, wrap-around terrace.
Atop a low stone plinth, the external cladding of naturally greyed timber extends over the walls and roof of Modern Barn, concealing its guttering to create a “sharp and seamless profile.”
Oak panelling on the interiors is intended to reflect a warm light from the ،me’s skylights, as well as provide ،e for the client’s print collection.
The surrounding gardens were inspired by a masterplan by Harris Bugg Studio, and since the ،me’s completion, the clients have added a yurt for guests.
Other projects recently completed by Coffey Architects include the perforated aluminium-clad Norwich Technology Hub, and an office block in King’s Cross that aimed to evoke the area’s industrial history.
The p،tography is by Phil Coffey.