BetterLivingSpace recently worked alongside MIU Architects to transform a derelict former cowshed in Kent into a comfortable and contemporary country home.
The former cowshed is a Grade II listed structure, situated on past farmland and surrounded by several other similar structures and the original farmhouse. Great care was taken by the architects to provide a design that was sympathetic not only to the original structure but also to the surrounding buildings and countryside. BetterLivingSpace then worked closely alongside the design brief to provide the entirety of the structural design and calculations.
The structural elements were selected with historic significance and the surrounding buildings in mind. The cowshed’s original oak frame had, at some point in the past, been replaced with concrete blocks. These carried neither historic nor aesthetic merit and were replaced with a new oak frame. The original timber weatherboarding had been lost to concrete infill block work along one façade. The structural design proposed to replace this either with timber weatherboarding or glazed doors, bringing the appearance of the cowshed into line with the neighbouring farmhouse. The once slate roof had been replaced with corrugated asbestos sheeting. Not only did this pose a health risk, the roof structure as it stood provided no insulation. Where possible, a reclaimed slate roof was proposed.
The end result was an innovative new home, fully integrated into its natural, built and historic environment; constructed with materials that respect the identity of local surroundings and materials. The owner has now moved back in and is enjoying this comfortable fusion of tradition and modern.