Off-grid home offers contemporary twist on an English barn
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.
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 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