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Contemporary Cat Hill Barn Conversion in Yorkshire

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Cat Hill Barn is nestled in the rolling hills of Yorkshire, an historic county of Northern England, constructed in the late 16th century as a beautiful grade II listed barn. Designed by Liverpool-based Snook Architects, the 3,810 square foot (354 square meters) home originally had some problems with the local planning office, yet won permission on appeal, with the provision of a restrained aesthetic of the scheme which deliberately avoided being too domestic in appearance. The architects created a flowing open plan interior that avoided compartmentalization and opened up to reveal the splendor and scale of the original barn and its trusses. Snook completed the scheme in 2012 and subsequently received two nominations in the 2013 RIBA awards in the regional category and small projects. Snook won in both categories.

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The main living spaces read as one generous volume set off by the new pegged oak trusses and stone fireplace. This space alludes to an upper floor by a floating glass gallery that neatly separates the main bedroom from the children’s bedrooms.

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The budget was extremely tight but the keenness of a local contractor and the proximity of the joinery workshop all helped to keep costs down. Avoiding the tendency to planner-twee that bedevils so many barn conversions, this simple scheme builds on the lofty agricultural aesthetic and injects it with all the intimacy and fun of a good domestic project.

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Photos: Andy Haslam

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