Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

A Rural Remodel in Norfolk, Tithe Barn and Piggery Included

Search

A Rural Remodel in Norfolk, Tithe Barn and Piggery Included

November 2, 2015

UK landscape designer Emily Erlam wanted to move her children and husband from London back to the countryside where she grew up in Norfolk county, East Anglia. The couple found an old tithe barn and piggery, formally owned by the diocese, that still sits in the parish of Edgefield.

While disused agricultural buildings dot the English landscape, reminding us of simpler bucolic times, they are less than simple to update for modern living. Enter Niall Maxwell and his London- and Wales-based firm Rural Office for Architecture, who are known for developing vernacular and contextual design responses. Working together, the pair developed an elegant scheme that is so sophisticated in its subtlety, it is barely noticeable against the characteristically flat Norfolk landscape. Come take the tour and see what they did.

Photography by Ioana Marinescu.

Rural Office For Architecture Old Barn Norfolk Remodelista 03

Above: The existing piggery and tithe barn were originally separate buildings positioned at a 90 degree angle to one another. Maxwell connected the two buildings with a new structure that houses the main living area with an open kitchen, dining, and living space. The kitchen cabinets are from British Standard.

Rural Office For Architecture Old Barn Norfolk Remodelista 01

Above: The sliding barn door on the right opens up to the tithe barn, which can be seen from the kitchen window. Maxwell was careful to select materials that could balance the building’s existing heritage and its contemporary use. The stained wood panels and brick floor, which run throughout the interiors, blend in seamlessly with the brick and flint masonry of the local agricultural vernacular.

Rural Office For Architecture Old Barn Norfolk 07  104  Ioana Marinescu Remodelista

Above: A view to the living area, which is the beginning of the private bedroom area. The new connecting structure has views of two courtyard gardens on either side. “The living area’s brick floor was inspired in part by a midcentury American house by the Bauhaus master Marcel Breuer,” Maxwell says. “The client loved this and requested we use it here.” The dining table is a Poul Kjí¦rholms PK54 and is surrounded by Hans Wegner chairs. And in the living area, the vintage Danish sofa is by Fabricius & Kastholm. The large black and brass pendant over the dining table is from Rubn.

Rural Office For Architecture Old Barn Norfolk Remodelista 07

Above: The brick fire surround in the living area contains a deep recess for logs and kindling. On the left of the soffit of the portal is the new structure and on the right is the piggery, which has been converted into a suite of bedrooms and bathrooms. The brick floor unifies the two spaces.

Rural Office For Architecture Old Barn Norfolk Remodelista 06

Above: A view of the hallway from one end of the piggery to the other.

Rural Office For Architecture Old Barn Norfolk Remodelista 08

Above: Maxwell detailed the wooden barn doors and wall panels to create a continuous wall to link the rooms at either end and unify the space. The doors and wall cladding are all softwood stained with a gray toned oil. Shaker pegs help to keep things organized in the bedrooms. The sliding barn door hardware is by Coburn.

Rural Office For Architecture Old Barn Norfolk Remodelista 09

Above: A view down the hallway of the piggery in the other direction lends a view to a child’s bedroom.

Rural Office For Architecture Old Barn Norfolk Remodelista 04

Above: Working within the constraints of a listed building, Maxwell’s conservation remit was to retain as much of the traditional vernacular fabric as possible while inserting new accommodations within the existing remains. New window openings were, therefore, not an option in the piggery. The architect introduced light and ventilation from skylights above.

Rural Office For Architecture Old Barn Norfolk Remodelista 02

Above: The wood paneling in the rest of the house is consistently carried into the bathrooms. The brass fixtures and fittings are from Vola.

Rural Office For Architecture Old Barn Norfolk 09  104  Ioana Marinescu Remodelista

Above: A view of one of the two inner courtyards, which is formed by the connection of the tithe barn (L) and the piggery (R). “These gardens were imagined as rooms, connecting the spaces and providing a focus from each adjoining space,” Maxwell says.

Rural Office For Architecture Old Barn Norfolk 08  104  Ioana Marinescu Remodelista

Above: The interior of the tithe barn, which will be renovated in Phase II with additional living spaces.

Rural Office For Architecture Old Barn Norfolk 06  104  Ioana Marinescu Remodelista

Above: Looking toward the corner where the new building connects to the piggery, whose outer flint walls were retained with a new portal structure that could support a floating untreated zinc standing-seam pitched roof. This roof extends to include the connecting pavilion to the barn. The inner courtyard walls are clad in new red cedar timber.

Rural Office For Architecture Old Barn Norfolk 04  104  Ioana Marinescu Remodelista

Above: A rain chain drains the water from the roof.

Rural Office For Architecture Old Barn Norfolk 01  104  Ioana Marinescu Remodelista

Above: The view from the road shows that the hierarchy of the barn within the context of the complex and flat Norfolk landscape remains extant.

 ROA Old Barn Remodelista Plan

Above: The plan illustrates how the the new structure containing the open living area connects the two existing buildings on the site.

See more rural architecture in Norfolk:

Christine is also the writer of the new lifestyle and wellness blog My Contents Have Shifted–A Fabster’s Musings on Being Fifty and Beyond.

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

v5.0