James Grayley Architects

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Farm Reading Room

Private Client, East Anglia, 2018

Extension and refurbishment of Grade II Listed former barn

The project creates a new reading room and sequence of entrance spaces adjacent to an existing 19th century barn and cloister garden in East Anglia.

Poorly altered in the 1980s, and again in the early 2000s, the existing structure has a lack of family living space and an eccentric arrangement of bedrooms and bathrooms. Internal alterations to the listed fabric are minimal, with attention focused on tactical improvements to the dwelling’s circulation.

The proposed wing abuts an existing brick wall, enclosing the kitchen garden. A series of partially internal, partially external colonnades provide spaces for reflection, for breakfast and a new pragmatic entrance sequence. The proposed reading room creates an intimate space of a scale not found within the existing barn, and opens onto the enclosed south facing garden.

The construction references it’s larger agricultural neighbour, the composition of brick plinths and black timber cladding drawing on regional building traditions.