New Barn - Felindre:   by Rural Office for Architecture

A Couple's Heart-Melting Welsh Barn

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK

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Located in Felindre, Wales, this stunning modern take on a traditional barn was awarded the RIBA Welsh Architecture Award Small Project of the Year 2014. Felindre is a small rural village and is a popular place to visit for fishing and walking. In an attempt to rejuvenate the area, after a lull of population growth and jobs, the Welsh government has plans to develop a new urban village with additional housing, schools and retail outlets. The barn forms one of three properties on the settlement, and was built to provide temporary accommodation while the farmhouse was being converted.

In this project, by the team at Rural Office for Architecture, you will see an ingenious and wonderful mix of modern home design, in contrast with traditional construction techniques. Little would you know, this is actually a self-build project, built without heavy machinery, numerous tradesmen and complicated construction. They say to never judge a book by its cover and this home is testament to that statement! 

So, without further ado, let's take a tour of this beautiful project…

Traditionally speaking

Nestled impeccably into its surroundings, the outside of this home reveals very little as to what is on shown inside. The only hint that there may be something a little different is the glazed sliding door which, due to its colour choice, is stealthily hidden away. 

The designers have matched the vernacular of a traditional barn with great success, showing that simple materials in conjunction with forward thinking design can create a truly magnificent project. 

Balancing act

Lined up in complete symmetry, this image shows us the traditional shape in which the barn has followed. A pitched roof, accompanied by timber exposed rafters, is the perfect way to frame this scene. The Dutch oven, which resembles a traditional hearth, is the central point and feature element of this living space.

Down to the smallest of details, including the wall clock and decoration, the architects have employed symmetry and balance to create a picture perfect image of modern barn life. The rocking chair, old clock and basket, give this scene an old-world feeling, and are well thought out small details to create an illusion of timelessness.

Finer details

From this perspective we can see the detail of the dry lining on the walls, which has been left with the borders and rivets exposed. This has created a truly wonderful additional detail, as we are able to see how the wall is connected. 

This is a rare treat in construction these days as too quickly we try to cover the skeleton of the building up. The same goes for the ceiling rafters. The load bearing columns and trusses are visible in their most pure and raw form. Even the carefully lined up bolts and nails are on show! 

Eclectic styling

Despite its traditional shape, the designers have cleverly employed an eclectic mixture of modern and retro styled furniture. The picture frames, decorations and rugs on both the floor and chairs, help to give this room a cosy and lived in ambience. 

The wall art injects personality and history, causing somewhat of an illusion to the viewer. The space appears to have been occupied but, little do outsiders know, it has just been refurbished. This comes down to the carefully planned and thought out selection of finite details, which has paid off to great effect.

Small space, big impact

A further testament to the skills of the designer is shown in the execution of the way space, zoning and partitions have been managed. With only a few small footprint to work with, you can see that the most important spaces have not only been catered for, but are spacious, light-filled and equally well designed. 

This bedroom, which follows the same homely theme of the previous rooms, is no exception. Bold wall art, modern furniture and bed linen in soft tones and delicate textures, creates a scene of calm and serenity. Another clever detail to point out is the curtain, which has been used in lieu of a door to create a softer, more delicate version of a partition.

To tour a delightfully renovated barn, check out: The Most Charming Barn Conversion.

What do you think of this modern take on barn design?
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