OLD BARN, NORFOLK
Described by RIBA as ‘a delight’, the Old Barn in Edgefield, Norfolk, was a Grade II listed piggery (with barn attached) before being converted into a light, sophisticated, Scandinavian-inspired family home, which so impressed RIBA judges that it was awarded both the RIBA East and Small Project of the Year Awards in 2015.
The project makes excellent use of VELFAC glazing, specified for its low-energy performance and the slim composite aluminium/pine frame, used to enhance the interior space and to maintain deliberate external references to local agricultural architecture. ‘For a high-performance system, VELFAC glazing is very cost-effective for ‘entry-level’ projects such as the Old Barn, and it also delivered the lightweight feel we wanted,’ explains architect Niall Maxwell of Rural Office for Architecture. ‘We had used the VELFAC system before so also knew the company had a reliable procurement system and excellent aftercare, both important for projects such as these.’
Accentuating the view
Niall specified triple-glazed VELFAC windows for the Old Barn, used primarily in a sequence of glazed sliding doors installed along the length of the single-storey home. The slim VELFAC composite frame maximises daylight entering the interior, with the inner pine framing, finished in white, an ideal complement to pale walls, brick floors and light timber panelling. ‘The slim frame also accentuates the view from the house,’ comments Niall - an important detail, as the windows look onto courtyards planted by the Old Barn’s owner, a renowned landscape designer.
The glazing also plays a key role in the distinctive exterior façade. ‘The windows are set into western red cedar cladding, with the frame finished in dark grey,’ explains Niall. ‘The aluminium framing echoes the metal commonly seen in local agricultural architecture, and will also complement the cedar as it fades over time.’
The Old Barn clearly meets ‘the criteria for excellence’ demanded by the RIBA judging panel, and since winning its awards has been featured in the national press and leading UK interiors magazines.
Architect: Rural Office for Architecture