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Water Lane Barns - Barn conversion and renovation

The Brief - the current owners wish to restore and convert the dilapidated agricultural barns to form their new home.  The barns were traditionally constructed with natural stone walls covered with slate on a timber roof structure.  The barns, which were not required by the main farm, have fallen into disrepair with large sections of the walls and roof having collapsed. They will be extensively repaired and extended incorporating structural oak framework to form a single storey dwelling with stunning full height vaulted ceilings. CAD worked closely with the owners to turn their vision into a reality.

The Design - the proposed design seeks to restore the original stone walls of the barns to retain the inherent beauty of the granite, but also to introduce structural oak framework to support the existing structure and also to extend onto the original barn.   The original barns will be restored using traditional techniques and materials such as lime pointing for the walls so the structure can breathe.   The sections of barns that require rebuilding will be done with reclaimed granite from the original building and will be lime pointed to match the main barn.  The barns will be supported using oak frame and the main barn and replacement east facing barn will incorporate a series of oak trusses to allow a full height vaulted ceiling internally with stunning exposed oak framework that complements the natural granite stone.  The oak frame gable end will be glazed to open up the views over the surrounding countryside.   Externally the roof will be finished traditionally with natural slate and clay ridge tiles.  The windows and doors will be formed using a combination of oak and contemporary slimline dark grey aluminium.  The roof of the linking section will be finished with contemporary natural zinc. 

Internally the main barn will incorporate an open plan Kitchen, Dining area and Lounge which will all enjoy stunning vaulted full height ceilings supported from a series of oak trusses and posts.  A glazed ridge and conservation rooflights will flood the main barn with natural light.  The east facing section of the barn that requires rebuilding will be used as a Snug with woodburner where the occupants can enjoy the views out over the country through the oak frame glazed gable. 


In order to provide additional space, it was decided to convert and restore the existing adjacent barns which could then house a Master Bedroom, Bathroom and Home Office.   The adjacent single storey barns which are linked to the farmhouse are currently used for storage although the end section of the barns has fallen into disrepair with one of the walls having collapsed.   At some point in the past, the barns have also had their original pitched roofs replaced with a monopitch covered with corrugated metal. It is therefore proposed to rebuild the section of barn and return the roof to its original pitch covered with natural slate. 

In order to connect the main barn and the ancillary barns, a low-level oak frame contemporary link with large roof light over will be formed to provide a light and airy entrance hall.  A further contemporary single storey rear linking structure will be added with a combination of both flat and monopitch roofs designed to have minimal impact on the original barns. The entrance hall leads into the main barn and out to the rear linking section which includes a Bathroom, Utility and third Bedroom.


Green Agenda - natural materials will be used throughout the restoration of the barns.  The walls will be constructed from reclaimed granite from the site and matching local Cornish granite where necessary to match the existing stone. Internally natural paints will be used on the lime pointed exposed stone walls to allow the original stone building to breathe and prevent internal damp.   The principal structure will be made in oak using traditional mortice and tennon jointing.  Timber is a renewable resource and will be from sustainable sources.   The roof will be covered in natural slate with a zinc finish for the link section.  The owners are very keen to ensure the building is highly insulated due to its exposed location in the Cornish countryside.  Heating and hot water will be supplied from a combination of ground source heat pump and woodburners.  Rainwater will be fed to a rainwater harvester used to flush the toilets and water the garden. 


Project work undertaken by CAD before construction could take place included design concept and sketch schemes, planning pre-application and full planning consent.  This  included drainage design, a full structural survey and supporting report by CAD as well as arranging for a bat and owl survey to accompany the application.  


Summary - the proposed restoration and development of Water Lane Barns has been achieved both sympathetically and sustainably by enhancing and conserving the historic barns within its sensitive location.   The original barns will be restored with traditional techniques and materials incorporating oak framework throughout whilst the small extensions required are contemporary in style which complements the original stone built Cornish barns.   Internally there will be stunning vaulted ceilings, open plan living and cosy spaces, all naturally lit with full height windows, doors, roof lights, and a glazed gable which opens up the extensive countryside views.   The construction will incorporate environmentally friendly materials as well as high levels of insulation to minimise the use of heating which will be provided by a combination of a woodburner and ground source heat pump.  The scheme will restore a dilapidated barn into a stunning, vibrant and sustainable family home.


Build Route – Self Managed/Built inc. various sub contractors


Completion – Currently On site

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