27 October 2021

New Case Study: Redhill Barn, Devon

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Redhill Barn was once a large roofless ruin, standing in a Devon field without access, water or electricity. Within its stone walls the architectural practice TYPE has created a new home which is now the hub of an ecological smallholding. The character of the original building has been restored in a legible and original way.


As Tom Powell, director of TYPE, explains: ‘Our strategy was to create a new home within the reconstructed barn rather than converting the barn into a house. We wanted to be very clear about what was old and new, retaining the weathered beauty of the monumental stone shell and wild agricultural setting.’


Key to this was the use of timber for new elements in the building; its lightness, variety of colour and its ability to be carefully crafted stand in contrast to the massive stone walls, articulating old from new.


Built in 1810, the barn had been laid out in the traditional way, its north wall built into the hillside to give access to the upper threshing floor and its south wall lined with a series of stone arches leading to the cow byre on the ground floor. This original massive stone envelope has been retained without making any new openings in the walls, the glazing set back within these openings to maximise natural light. A new Douglas fir roof structure supports a gutterless hipped roof covered with milled aluminium sheeting, ‘ghosting’ the original roof form in a light, reflective material.