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My Favourite Things ~ ‘Oak Beam’

Category: Favourite Things May 26th, 2008 by mbc

So far in this series of my favourite things at the barn I’ve focussed on original features, this is the first of the new features we’ve introduced during the conversion.

oak beam

We chose these oak beams instead of steels to support the first floor for a couple of reasons. From a ‘healthy house’ perspective we minimised the use of metal in the building and aesthetically the oak beams help maintain an attractive link to the buildings history.

There are two beams in the main room of the barn – each weighing in at around 3/4 of a tonne. It will be nice to see them sanded and finished as they are currently water stained and blackened, but still attractive to the eye.

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My Favourite Things ~ ‘Stone Wall’

Category: Favourite Things May 1st, 2008 by mbc

I have an urge to further extend and heighten these dry stone walls. I’ve always fancied living behind a wall. I think there’s something primal going on here.

stone wall

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My Favourite Things ~ ‘Rounded Corner’

Category: Favourite Things February 24th, 2008 by mbc

One corner of the barn has been carefully rounded, it speaks to me of workmanship, care and simple good design (don’t worry I’m not literally hearing walls speak). The stones are arranged to offer no sharp edges, no right angles. My favourite reason for constructing the wall in this was is to save cows that round the corner from banging their hip bones – although friendliness to any animals or machines going that way is probably the real story.

rounded corner

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My Favourite Things ~ ‘Cart Door Arches’

Category: Favourite Things February 11th, 2008 by mbc

The barn is endowed with a handsome pair of opposing cart doors. The doors stand about 12 feet tall and are topped by a arch of cut, dressed stone. After some research on Wikipedia, I reckon they are segmental, shouldered arches.

Cart Door Arch

The arches are two of the major features of the barn, when building has been completed they will both be glazed and will hopefully provide ample light to the interior. What I want to do is to leave as much of the arch-work visible, not just outside, but inside as well. This is difficult with building regulations demanding heavily insulation on all the walls except those that are entirely internal. Tricky, but I think worth attempting as it would be a great shame to hide such features behind boards and insulation.

This raises a question, around balancing the admirable energy concerns of building regulations with the desire to not only preserve but also celebrate & enjoy our architectural heritage. Tricky question that one…

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My Favourite Things ~ ‘Arrow Slits’

Category: Favourite Things February 3rd, 2008 by mbc

With a project like this it is sometimes easy to allow the big picture to overwhelm the little things.

arrow slit or ventilation shaft

It is often the little things that make the whole thing seem worthwhile at the beginning. So, in appreciation of the little things, I thought I’d put together a series of posts on those features that add texture, detail and richness to the whole and that make it all seem worthwhile.

I always get corrected when I refer to the ventilation slits in the wall of the barn as arrow slits. But the little boy who loved castles is irrepressible when it comes to medieval features.

I’m really pleased with this picture as it lines up the slit in both sides of the building so that you can see right through. From the inside, they reveal teasing glimpses of the outside and when hit by the sun give fantastic vertical shafts of light.

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Progress

Autumn 2013

Right that’s the summer over with, now I can get on with some real work without the distractions of other things (like holidays and playing with children, all that enjoyable stuff that gets in the way of progress)… With few major jobs (painting, boxing in – nasty stuff!) left inside, mainly fiddly things that need […]

I’m having a moan on twitter… https://twitter.com/barnconversion/status/368427314868396032

A lovely Flemish barn conversion

I love the interior of this conversion and the great use of horizontal slats on this conversion. I retains the essential ‘barnyness’ of the building… flemish-barn-by-arend-groenewegen-architect

Coming soon, my barn conversion guide… Interesting earthship greenhouse project on Kickstarter

I really like this Kickstarter project >> The Farm of the Future: Earthship-Inspired Greenhouse This project is “Prototyping the First 100% Off-The-Grid, Affordable, Low-Maintenance Greenhouse using Earthship Principles and Aquaponics“. If any of those words meaning anything to you you’ll be interested in the project if not, pass it by… It’s already funded so I […]

Barns

Barns Gallery on Remodelista

There is a lovely gallery of barn related inspirational photographs available on Remodelista.

Barns – the Long House

Situated on the North Norfolk coast, this is a building to admire…

Barns – the Balancing Barn

A stunning piece of architecture, although not entirely to my taste…

New fast-track planning permission for the development of barns proposed

The Daily Mail reports on a new fast-track route through planning controls for the conversion of barns…

De-assembled, re-assembled, re-cycled barns

“A bit like a private sector, modernising, repurposing St Fagan’s…”

Design

What is a shadow gap?

A shadow gap – a mysterious dark place between two plains…

Your barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

Thoughts on making YOUR barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

Building Regulations, Approved Documents Part D – Toxic substances

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents Part D – Toxic substances

Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part C Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part C Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture

Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part B Fire safety

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part B Fire safety

Architecture

Your barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

Thoughts on making YOUR barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

The Stirling prize 2012 winner – the Sainsbury Laboratory

The 2012 Stirling prize was won by a outsider, the Sainsbury Laboratory…

The Stirling prize 2012

I think that this years Stirling prize has some exciting projects on the shortlist…

Our engineers … our architects – Le Corbusier

The efficient, shiny world of construction in 1923…

Design in Storage

When designing a layout it’s easy to forget to plan for storage…

News

Green Deal slow beginnings?

Oh dear! The green deal hasn’t got off to a very auspicious start… As reported in the Telegraph today since it was launched nearly a year ago just 12 homes have taken advantage of the Green Deal with a few hundred more in the pipeline. 71,210 households had been assessed for Green Deal measures such […]

The property roller coaster – planning reform to be rethought

Eric Pickles vague compromise on planning reform keeps the house happy (for now).

Energy policy, smoke screens, fracking, confusion and big bucks

There seems to be only one thing that is certain in the world of energy policy and that is that costs will rise annually above and beyond anything that inflation can currently throw at us. Beyond that, smoke screens & confusion seem to reign. Take the recent news for example… It’s reported today that the […]

Flanking manoeuvres and good design…

It seems that the government are undertaking flanking manoeuvres on the green belt…

Green Deal Launch

The Green deal launched in the UK on Monday of this week. Fanfares? fireworks? a deluge of marketing? … read more …

Plaid Cymru’s Green New Deal promise

The leader of Plaid Cymru has promised a “Green New Deal” to rejuvenate the Welsh economy and help maintain Wales’ position at the forefront of Green policies.

Permitted development extension limits to be doubled

The government is due to announce a temporary increase in the maximum depth of extensions that can be built under permitted development rules.

Lloyd Khan, making shelter simple.

I wanted to share an interview with Lloyd Khan that I recently found…

Just what is ‘sustainable development’?

Sustainable development – with the term now enshrined in planning law, what does it mean?

Sir Patrick Abercrombie – “It is a matter for serious thought…”

While reading up on the response of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) I came across this quote from Sir Patrick Abercrombie…