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18th century barn conversion in the English countryside

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A grouping of 18th century agricultural buildings were transformed into a residential property by architects Liddicoat & Goldhill, located in the countryside of Folkestone in Kent, south-east England. Aptly named “Ancient Party Barn”, the clients of this project are a digital designer and fashion designer who have a mutual enjoyment of collecting salvaged architectural artifacts and materials. The clients express wishes were to focus on creatively re-adatping the existing volumes on the site; preserving what is left of of the derelict barns and incorporating textures and materials that will easily blend in with what is already existing. To protect the barn from the elements, it is usually kept closed off, however the architects incorporated industrial mechanisms into the design to address the openings, capturing keys views into the countryside. Immense, insulated shutters emulate the original barn doors and helps to shield a large rotating window that is operated through an adapted chain-lift.

** This home was shortlisted for the prestigious Stephen Lawrence National Architecture Award and awarded a 2015 RIBA South East regional award.

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One side of this 18th century building features an American designed aircraft hangar door, opening upwards to create a canopy over the dining terrace, revealing a wall of windows within. Inside, a skylight travels the length of the main roof’s ridge, providing a nice ambient light throughout the living spaces. A mezzanine level was incorporated into the design, allowing an area for a couple of bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. A dramatic waxed steel spiral staircase is wrapped around a tapering brick chimney with an open fireplace, supporting a corner of the mezzanine.

RELATED: Luminous barn conversion in the English countryside

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Although the barn structure operates with high-tech solutions, it also integrates reclaimed materials into its design. A heat pump was designed to harvest the warmth from the paddock soil, the source of the home’s heat and hot water. Reclaimed light fixtures throughout the barn use energy-efficient LED bulbs. The integration of heat, light and security systems allows the homeowners who travel for work to manage the buildings remotely. This wide-scale project started in 2012 and took two years to complete.

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What We Love: This 18th century barn conversion has all the right elements, historically preserved charm and advanced technological features to make it feel livable. The spiral staircase in the center to the home creates a beautiful focal point to the space and the soaring ceilings creates a feeling of openness. Overall another excellent barn conversion, what do you think?

RELATED: Contemporary barn conversion in the Cotswolds

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RELATED: Contemporary Cat Hill Barn Conversion in Yorkshire

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Photos: Keith Collie and Will Scott

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