RIBA Yorkshire 2021 Award Winners
Gagarin Studio Limited
Thorney Barn repurposes an old barn into a family home which is located on a south facing hillside, making the most of fantastic distant views. The main barn has been repaired externally with a small extension to provide a gym, office, sauna and plant room. The selection of materials for this new addition is a combination of traditional stonework and metal cladding, which effectively breaks up the mass on the southern elevation.
The building is well-crafted and the attention to detail is clearly seen throughout. Internally, the barn structure can be seen clearly in a number of places and the stonework is left exposed in key areas. A well-detailed steel structure is painted and fire protected to hold up the first floor structure. It is elegant when set against the existing traditional construction. On entering the main living spaces, the stunning south facing views are revealed and there is a small change in level and drop down to allow access out onto an external terrace.
A new staircase located within the main living spaces is well-detailed in timber "BauBuche" and is set against a timber storage shelving system which again demonstrates the design team’s attention to detail to integrate both functions well. At upper level, the children and visitor bedrooms are all practical, but the main bedroom has a large glazed sliding door and glass balcony that can be opened to allow fantastic views from the bed.
The client and the design team used local craftsmen and contractors to showcase their skills on the scheme. The bespoke kitchens, stairs, shelving coat hooks, and fencing show this off very well. The small snug off the main living room incorporates a theatre drape to separate it and allow it to provide a cosier environment for watching TV.
The scheme has its own water supply from a bore whole, a ground source heating system set into the paddock in front of the building, and its own chemical-free septic tank and drainage system. There is some rainwater harvesting to the small kitchen garden and a sustainable drainage system to the driveway.
Overall, this is a simple repurposed barn that has been brought back to life. To make a private dwelling special, the architect must go the extra mile with a high level of commitment from the design team. This project is a good example of what an architect can do if allowed to by their client and therefore deserves to be awarded Project Architect of the Year.