Preston St Mary, Suffolk
The clients for Black Barn had raised a family in the adjacent converted medieval barn, a structure topped with what is thought to be the single largest thatched roof in Suffolk. This original property included a number of substantial outbuildings of which the Black Barn was the largest. Following changes in planning policy which allowed the conversion of redundant barns into homes as permitted development, the clients approached Project Orange to reimagine the Black Barn as a new home for their retirement.
The barn was an unprepossessing post war structure of precast concrete and corrugated asbestos, yet it was fundamental to the proposals that this aesthetic should not change. A new steel structure was therefore deployed and asbestos replaced with corrugated aluminium to create a new 400m2 home that remains true to its origin. The interior spaces are a celebration of light and volume with a sequence of reception areas that pivot around a central hearth and stair.