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Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris Architects

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[MANSER MEDAL 2012] This partly buried building respects the oast house of its former life

This project aimed to create a unified series of flowing, contemporary spaces linked to the rolling landscape setting, respecting the existing oast house, and taking advantage of the views.

The original building was given a thorough but sensitive makeover, removing the garage, study and kitchen wing to make way for the new annex. What remained was carefully analysed and repaired appropriately so the 200‑year-old building is easily discernible against the new interventions. The annex itself is an altogether more sculptural and dynamic form of interconnecting volumes, entirely clad in a durable engineered timber boarding, orientated vertically, in contrast to the rough-sawn horizontal lapped timber cladding of the barn. The external massing expresses the internal function of each room.

A conflict between the needs of the client and the demands of conservation officials, who wanted the replication of a traditional farm building aesthetic, has been resolved by breaking up and partly burying the new building, so it appears to be a collection of cellular timber outbuildings dominated by the bulk of the two oast houses. Yet internally these ‘barns’ form a beautiful continuous flowing open plan living area, linking into bedrooms in the restored oast houses.

RIBA Regional Award, South

AJ Buildings Library

See images and drawings of Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris Architects

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