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The Brick Barn: A Modern English Farmhouse in Norfolk

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The Brick Barn: A Modern English Farmhouse in Norfolk

June 12, 2017

When Lynch Architects of London set out to convert a pair of 17th-century barns in the North Norfolk village of Thursford into an idyllic, clean-lined-meets-crumbly country escape, their aim was to create a compound that appeared “deliberately timeless, suggesting that works have been done over a long period of time without a single author,” as they say. The architects purchased the property in 2010 and restored and modified the structures over three years as vacation accommodations for their practice. Join us for a tour.

Photography via The Modern House, unless otherwise noted.

The barn has been put to many uses over the years, including as a bike repair shop. Lynch Architects removed the ground-floor interior walls to create an open kitchen/living space, but restored and preserved the exterior walls of brick and flint.
Above: The barn has been put to many uses over the years, including as a bike repair shop. Lynch Architects removed the ground-floor interior walls to create an open kitchen/living space, but restored and preserved the exterior walls of brick and flint.
 The new oak floor is finished with a Danish oil; it was laid over a new slab concrete base and outfitted with radiant floor heating. The kitchen, complete with Aga, has butcher block counters stained to match the floorboards.
The new oak floor is finished with a Danish oil; it was laid over a new slab concrete base and outfitted with radiant floor heating. The kitchen, complete with Aga, has butcher block counters stained to match the floorboards.
To keep the barn-like quality of the interior, the architects introduced an ingenious wall of tongue-and-groove paneling detailed with hidden doors and cupboards. &#8
Above: To keep the barn-like quality of the interior, the architects introduced an ingenious wall of tongue-and-groove paneling detailed with hidden doors and cupboards. “We built a new independent timber structure inside the old walls of the barn, insulating the ceiling and the floor, which enabled us to expose the old rubble walls internally,” architect Patrick Lynch told Dezeen. “Everything, old and new, is painted white in order to emphasize the singular volume and to unify the space, which means that the rhythm of joints and tiny shadows is the predominant feature.”
The doors lead to a bedroom, bathroom, and stairs.
Above: The doors lead to a bedroom, bathroom, and stairs.
The designers opened the room to the outdoors by inserting a floor-to-ceiling slatted window (with concealed shutters that close for privacy).
Above: The designers opened the room to the outdoors by inserting a floor-to-ceiling slatted window (with concealed shutters that close for privacy).
Two exterior steps—of hinged tongue-and-groove-boarding that double as storage—connect to a concealed stairway of birch plywood.
Above: Two exterior steps—of hinged tongue-and-groove-boarding that double as storage—connect to a concealed stairway of birch plywood.
 Above L: The design, known as a Norfolk winder stair, is detailed with a rope banister. Above R: Paneled in birch ply, the upstairs bedroom is exactly the size of a king-size bed and intended to be &#8
Above L: The design, known as a Norfolk winder stair, is detailed with a rope banister. Above R: Paneled in birch ply, the upstairs bedroom is exactly the size of a king-size bed and intended to be “a hidden niche-like timber retreat.”
The window has a deep plywood frame that serves as a bedside ledge. The small hatch overlooks downstairs.
Above: The window has a deep plywood frame that serves as a bedside ledge. The small hatch overlooks downstairs.
The first floor bedroom has inset birch ply shelving and exposed rafters. The wall light is Original BTC&#8
Above: The first floor bedroom has inset birch ply shelving and exposed rafters. The wall light is Original BTC’s Hector design.
The barn adjoins a historic cottage that Lynch Architects also overhauled.
Above: The barn adjoins a historic cottage that Lynch Architects also overhauled.
The vertical windows integrate well with the weathered brick and flint. The existing roof had to be removed but was replaced with reclaimed terracotta tiles in the style of the original.
Above: The vertical windows integrate well with the weathered brick and flint. The existing roof had to be removed but was replaced with reclaimed terracotta tiles in the style of the original.
The structure sits on the village green.
Above: The structure sits on the village green.

Here are some more barns that stopped us in our tracks.

This post is an update; the original ran on August 19, 2015.

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