Architecture

Off-grid home offers contemporary twist on an English barn

Off-grid home offers contempor...
Black Barn runs fully off-the-grid with solar power and a bio-diesel generator 
Black Barn runs fully off-the-grid with solar power and a bio-diesel generator 
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Black Barn is finished in locally-sourced western red cedar, charred using the Shou Sugi Ban method that gives it that distinctive black look
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Black Barn is finished in locally-sourced western red cedar, charred using the Shou Sugi Ban method that gives it that distinctive black look
Black Barn's lower area is finished in flint, with a lime-based mortar 
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Black Barn's lower area is finished in flint, with a lime-based mortar 
The Shou Sugi Ban-treated cladding also improves Black Barn's durability
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The Shou Sugi Ban-treated cladding also improves Black Barn's durability
Black Barn has a high level of airtightness, meaning that it requires little energy to heat or cool
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Black Barn has a high level of airtightness, meaning that it requires little energy to heat or cool
Construction on Black Barn was started in 2017 and just recently completed
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Construction on Black Barn was started in 2017 and just recently completed
Black Barn features a tapering roofline
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Black Barn features a tapering roofline
Black Barn's upper floor hosts the open living areas and the lower floor includes the private bedrooms and bathrooms
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Black Barn's upper floor hosts the open living areas and the lower floor includes the private bedrooms and bathrooms
Black Barn is located in the countryside in rural Suffolk, England
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Black Barn is located in the countryside in rural Suffolk, England
Black Barn includes a small sunken garden area
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Black Barn includes a small sunken garden area
Black Barn is fronted by generous glazing
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Black Barn is fronted by generous glazing
Black Barn measures 322 sq m (3,465 sq ft)
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Black Barn measures 322 sq m (3,465 sq ft)
Black Barn runs fully off-the-grid with solar power and a bio-diesel generator 
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Black Barn runs fully off-the-grid with solar power and a bio-diesel generator 
Black Barn is designed to blend in with the local agricultural buildings
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Black Barn is designed to blend in with the local agricultural buildings
Black Barn gets water from a borehole
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Black Barn gets water from a borehole
Construction on Black Barn was started in 2017 and just recently completed
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Construction on Black Barn was started in 2017 and just recently completed
Black Barn features a tapering roofline
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Black Barn features a tapering roofline
Black Barn is located in the countryside in rural Suffolk, England
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Black Barn is located in the countryside in rural Suffolk, England
Visitors to Black Barn are greeted by eye-catching timber scissor trusses
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Visitors to Black Barn are greeted by eye-catching timber scissor trusses
Black Barn is fronted by generous glazing
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Black Barn is fronted by generous glazing
Black Barn's living room is open and light-filled
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Black Barn's living room is open and light-filled
Visitors to Black Barn are greeted by eye-catching timber scissor trusses
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Visitors to Black Barn are greeted by eye-catching timber scissor trusses
Black Barn's living room is open and light-filled
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Black Barn's living room is open and light-filled
Black Barn's wooden staircase joins the lower private areas with the upper living areas
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Black Barn's wooden staircase joins the lower private areas with the upper living areas
One of Black Barn's bathrooms
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One of Black Barn's bathrooms

London-based Studio Bark has done a superb job with this contemporary take on a traditional barn-style house. Named Black Barn, the recently-completed home runs fully off-the-grid and is designed to resemble the local agricultural buildings in rural Suffolk, England.

Black Barn was built in collaboration with Structure Workshop and comprises two floors. The ground floor is housed in locally-sourced flint that's finished in a lime-based mortar and hosts private areas like bedrooms and bathrooms, which are shaded by the overhanging upper floor. The upper floor features the living areas and is finished in locally-sourced western red cedar which was charred using the Shou Sugi Ban method that improves its durability and gives it a distinctive black appearance.

Visitors to Black Barn are greeted by eye-catching timber scissor trusses
Visitors to Black Barn are greeted by eye-catching timber scissor trusses

The home has a total floorspace of 322 sq m (3,465 sq ft) and is fronted by generous glazing. On entering, visitors find a light-filled living space defined by timber scissor trusses. The kitchen and dining area is nearby, and there's a playroom a little further into the home. Stairs lead to the bedrooms and bathrooms below.

While we've no technical figures on R-values or the like, Studio Bark says that Black Barn is well-insulated and has a high level of airtightness, meaning that it requires little energy to heat or cool. The home runs totally off-the-grid with a solar panel array and a bio-diesel generator that works in tandem with a heat recovery system to make use of the waste heat produced during its operation.

Furthermore, it draws water from a borehole and has a packaged sewage system. This works like a septic tank but includes its own treatment system and once treated, the waste is often suitable for release into the environment.

Black Barn features a tapering roofline
Black Barn features a tapering roofline

Black Barn began construction in 2017 and was just recently completed. It was granted planning permission under Paragraph 79 of the UK's National Planning Policy Framework. This enables homes to be built in unspoiled countryside if they meet specific criteria, including being of exceptional quality.

Source: Studio Bark

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