Shortlisted for the prestigious Stephen Lawrence National Architecture Award and awarded a 2015 RIBA South East regional award the Ancient Party Barn is a playful re-working of historic agricultural buildings for residential use. The design inverts the typical barn-conversion type, creating hermetic, introspective spaces set in open countryside.
Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the 18th Century threshing barn, dairy and stables are a prominent feature from the North Downs Way. To maintain the barn’s brooding presence - and to provide security and a sense of protection from rolling Channel mists - the barn is usually kept in a closed state. However, industrial-scale kinetic mechanisms create openings that address key views into the countryside.
Massive, insulated shutters recall the original barn doors, and protect a vast rotating window operated by an adapted chain-lift. To the East front, an American aircraft-hangar door allows the exterior to concertina upwards, creating a canopy over the dining terrace and revealing ribbon glazing within. A single rooflight, running the length of the main roof’s ridge provides steady ambient light to the living spaces.