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Flemish Barn by Arend Groenewegen Architect.

Photos: Arend Groenewegen Architect.

The original barn was built around 1800 and was in a thoroughly dilapidated condition. The proposal therefore to convert it into an office was welcomed, as it represented the best chance of saving the original structure. The project was completed in 2009.The essence of the scheme was to bring to the barn, light, air and modern facilities, whilst maintaining as much of the original character as possible.

Arend Groenewegen Architects realised that the main challenge was to open the façades to glazing. This was achieved by using a traditional style weatherboarding and cleverly reconfiguring it to act as blinds and sun shading. This move maintained the strong rustic aesthetic character, from the exterior, whilst providing a glimpse of something modern inside.

Internally, a wooden cube provides the organising principle and houses the new service and wet zones. Care has been taken not to polish the interiors too much as that would have been alien to the barn's original character.

The result is a light space that feels modern yet is unmistakably historic in character.


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