Located in the rural Buckinghamshire countryside The Granary is a remarkable barn conversion that honours tradition while incorporating modern design elements.
A storied history
Across a half-acre site, The Granary and a host of farm outbuildings have been converted, renovated and repurposed to create modern family homes. The barn itself was had been used for a wide range of purposes in its former life, including as a grain store, as home to Highland cows and Tamworth pigs and even as a workshop for farm machinery.
In more recent time the steel-framed barn had become home to GNC Construction, run by the owner’s son, acting as a workshop and office space for the thriving construction business.
A long but rewarding process
It was the team at GNC Construction that were instrumental in getting the project off the ground, collaborating with Hawkins Eades Associates and architect Paul Blaney to draw up plans to make use of the barn’s unique shape and scale.
The family faced one or two obstacles along the way. “It’s always a long process changing the use of a building from agricultural to residential. Surveys for bats, owls, and nearby highways, for example.There are also restrictions on the sizes of window openings with privacy glass, which are on all east and west windows on the first floor. Boundary fencing also needed to be in keeping with the rural area.”
The couple’s two sons were integral to the project’s success. Their experience working with their parents on big restoration projects goes back to 2000, when the family took on the conversion of a 300-year-old traditional oak barn.
Key to the design was to find a solution to create a bright open plan space within what had traditionally been a closed-off structure. The solution for The Granary’s façade was aluminium framed, triple-height glass curtain walling from IDSystems that break up the structure of the old barn, contrast perfectly with the timber cladding and flood the property with light.
“The strength of the curtain walling was a major factor, as the height of eight metres is impressive for a home. IDSystems came up with the design and functionality.” The result is a glass curtain that seamlessly connects the indoors and outdoors, creating a clean, bright aesthetic.
Upon entering, guests are greeted by a breath-taking reception area with ceilings extending to the complete height of the building.
Glass curtain walling floods the entire area with natural light. Drop-down lighting, muted creams and grey tones further showcase the light and open space. The ground floor also incorporates a bedroom, shower room and family room – the latter of which is used as a playroom when the grandchildren come to visit.
Linking inside and outside
At the end of the property, pocket doors open up to reveal the owners favourite area in the home: a spectacular open-plan kitchen and utility, dining, and lounge area.
The building’s natural surroundings can be enjoyed thanks to a combination of aluminium bifold doors and vistaline slide and turn doors from IDSystems. The open-plan space is also complimented by large aluminium windows, throughout the room, allowing further light to enter the property at all angles.
With narrow sightlines of just 45mm, the vistaline slide and turn doors combine the narrow frames of sliding doors but are capable of creating a completely unobstructed opening comparable with bifolds.
Light filled spaces
On the first floor, a galleried landing area leads to the master bedroom en-suite, where a vaulted ceiling and roof lights further enhance this property’s distinctive sense of space. It’s another favourite spot, standing at the threshold of the principal bedroom, looking northeast to the courtyard with the old Victorian granary, one can enjoy a glorious view of the centuries-old woodland outside.
The expansive master bedroom, including en-suite with free-standing roll top bath, spans the width of the building at first floor level, with the remaining space designed to feature four further bedrooms, a family bathroom and a laundry room.
The design placed special emphasis on sustainable energy-saving solutions, ensuring the home remains warm throughout the year, and has even been recognised as an eco-building. “The building even has an EPC rating of A, which is rare for a barn conversion.”
Thirty-three solar panels placed on the southeast side of the building produce up to 10000kws of energy per year. “We are part of the government-led Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, which promotes the use of renewable heat that can be exported to the grid.”
An efficient, ground source heat pump (GSHP) open loop system has also been incorporated, further reducing emissions. Inexpensive to run and easy to maintain, the technology powers the home’s underfloor heating and allows for the domestic hot water (DHW) system to deliver hot water when required.
Through careful attention to detail, the couple has ensured that The Granary is fully future proofed. They see it as one of their greatest achievements: “There has been a great deal of satisfaction for all involved, living here, designing and completing a project that all the family can enjoy,” they affirm. “Many industry professionals commend it as a really unique and amazing property. It’s a build to be proud of.”
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