Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Hillcott Barn in Cheltenham, London by RRA Architects
June 11th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: RRA Architects
Hillcott barn an old Herefordshire threshing stone barn located in the village of Hope Mansel near the Forest of Dean featured on Channel Four’s Grand Designs series in April 2006.
The barn located on a vantage point of a steep hill adjacent to open farmland and woodland was a raw canvas unspoilt by progress. The construction of the roof was in rustic timber using elm for the trusses and rubble stone with lime pointing and lime washing to the walls. The roof was in blue riven slates.
As a threshing barn the structure had narrow arrow slit windows to provide natural ventilation to the stored grain and two large openings opposite each other to facilitate the threshing of the wheat. The structure was all about wind and shelter using the high vantage point to great benefit.
RRA Architects used good conservation techniques that have been developed over many years. A radical idea to facilitate phased construction and off-site manufacture was adopted principally as a cost saving measure.
The essence of the design is to rest lightly on the fabric of the old barn and insert modern accommodation standards in the form of ‘pods’ that created the kitchen, dressing room, bathroom, ensuite and tv-snug. Each of these ‘pods’ were made off-site and lowered into a pre-prepared position.
The raised roof was the ingenious architectural design, which featured on the Channel 4 show. This method of introducing ventilation and daylight into the building without the need for new windows or enlarged arrow slits, which would have destroyed the delicate historic fabric of the walls of the barn, was the key to the success of the project and the key to good conservation technique.
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