Something different this week – it may well be divisive but it’s the first of its kind so worth exploring for that reason alone. It’s the first Dutch barn to be converted for residential use and it’s on the market with The Modern House for £1,200,000.
What, you may ask, is a Dutch Barn? Well – and you can skip this paragraph if you know the answer – it’s a barn with a curved roof that typically had no walls and was used for hay storage. They are a relatively recent development and mostly date from the 19th century.
This one, not far from Cheltenham, is the first one of its kind to be converted for residential living design and was conceived and executed by the British Architect Ed Pack, of Pack Associates, for his parents in 2005.
It’s big with over 2,500 sq ft of living space and nine double height glazed panels at the back. The curved staircase echoes the original curve of the roof and the glazing and external timber panels have been carefully positioned so that the occupants can have maximum privacy even though the house is set in secluded land.
There are three bedrooms although the library, glimpsed below can be used as a fourth and has access to an en suite bathroom, which would also make it a great home office as there’s nothing like wandering through the rest of a distracting house to get to the loo when you are on a deadline. I can actually get to the bathroom without needing to go via the kitchen but somehow I always seem to end up there en route.
Upstairs, the master bedroom has its own bathroom, while the other big bedroom has a bathroom and small study – perfect for teenagers, or converted into a dressing room. The third bedroom has access to the family bathroom which, while no en suite, is pretty much exclusively for the occupants of that room.
What appeals to me, and perhaps that reflects the age of the occupants, is the use of antique furniture within such a contemporary space. For me it’s a contrast that works really well and gives character to a space that might otherwise be a series of large glass boxes.
It’s clearly a house that would be easy to live in as, as you would imagine, the architect designer, has thought about what works and what is required. It’s like a very English version of those classic case study houses you see in California and elsewhere in the US.
Anyone fancy moving to the country for this unusual barn conversion?