As the sprawl of cities around the world forever moves out into the countryside, farms are being divided up and sold off as individual lots to become part of the outskirts of the suburban landscape. As London's population is expected to break the 10 million mark within the next 15 years, once quiet villages in the countryside are forever becoming part of greater London. Although not quite yet part of the suburbs, this old cowshed and dairy was once part of a farm that has now become a subdivision. The walls of the shed were the starting point of what was to become a highly coveted country home. Working closely with the clients, A-ZERO Architects were able to create a completely modernised home that honoured the history of the old farm, whilst considering the environment throughout all aspects, all completed on a tight budget. No mean feat, but the results are a testament to the skill of the architects.
After early consultations with the young family who were to occupy the home, the idea of a timber exterior envelope and internalised oak frame was quickly decided upon. By internalising the frame, its presence could be felt in every room, with exposed beams ever present, which we will soon see. To stay true to the farm's original function, the existing steel frame of the barn was preserved where possible, and any materials of the original structure were reused where possible.
Here we see how the internal frame creates a visual effect like that of a historic building, paired with original brickwork that honours the previous use of the cow barn. In keeping with its rural setting, a true country style lounge room is evident; floral prints in muted tones appear in the couch, lounge chair and accompanying floor rug.
A kitchen of varying interior design schemes can be seen, as can the ever-present exposed timber frame. Tones of white and grey pair perfectly with the lovely oak of the frame and the timber floorboards, as modern lamps drawing inspiration from Scandinavian design hang elegantly above.
The timber envelope of the home has been duplicated inside, with timber cladding used to decorative effect on the interior walls, which as you can see, looks elegant and perfectly paired with the exposed brick and stark white walls.
No rural home would be complete without the use of an antique bed frame and the addition of dark stained timber furnishings. While large windows allow in ample morning light, the owners of this wonderful new home can wake up with the views of the countryside every morning, resting easy knowing they have built a tasteful home that respects the history of the original building, whilst doing their part for the environment.
For more rural living inspiration, we recommend reading about the world's best shipping container home.