The challenge in restoring Feering Bury Farm's large barn was the owner's and the community's desire to keep the barn looking semi-industrial in outer appearance and as barn-like on the interior as possible. Originally the structure was built in 1560, with a gorgeous thatched roof that had since fallen into disrepair. There seemed to be no modern replacement for a thatched roof that could keep the building flooded with light without windows or roof lights of some kind. Windows or lights would ruin the barn's historical look, and many architects walked away from the project without resolving this issue. Hudson architects succeeded though, with this amazing design.
From the rear, the barn looks much the same as it has for centuries, with industrial modifications on a strong timber barn. In its new incarnation as a home, its managed to keep its history and character intact.
We're amazed by historical renovations too! Take a look at our recent tour of an old Spanish chapel, which got a restored shrine and some modern style.
There's no windows in this barn, just big empty roof panels that constantly flood the whole home with light! All of this is achieved without a single internal light, which would bring the home out of it's electricity-less past and into the modern day. Moreover, the whole huge barn is almost entirely without a wall, the ultimate in open floor plans.
As much of the original wood as possible was kept in use in the building. Where the home absolutely needed replacement beams new wood was introduced that matches the weather-worn timber as much as possible. Some of that existing wood that could no longer support the walls was re-purposed in the rustic furniture and shelving you see here. And as for those marble columns? They're original to the building, and hold another secret.
Here's a peek up the marble column stairs. As the only possible private space they house the bathrooms and the bedrooms, in a kind of wondrous mezzanine that we think adds a ton of character. If you like unusually shaped spaces then you won't want to miss this horseshoe-shaped home!
To the right is an old artist's studio, added to the main building shortly after its construction. It maintains the original siding, while the rest of the barn was given this dark and dramatic look. Notice the square panels on the roof of the barn? They appear to be completely solid, but they're not! Let's take a peek inside to see what these panels look like up-close.
The main technical feature of Feering Bury Farm Barn is its unique roof which uses an ingenious method to bring daylight into the vast 5,600 square foot (525m2) space beneath. The roof also had to comply with nature conservation rules which prohibit visible roof lights in the area – a pre-requisite which had thwarted a number of previous architects. The existing corrugated roofing was removed, and the timber structure used to support a new roof containing a series of large polycarbonate rooflights, which in turn were covered in an expanded steel mesh. The openings within the mesh are orientated towards the sky, allowing diffused light to flood the building. From ground level, however, these opening are invisible and give the appearance of a solid, uninterrupted roof surface.