Award: HAA Awards 2006 (The Hertfordshire Association of Architects Annual Awards).
The conversion of two traditional barns into a showroom and office is a bold and very simple project retaining the existing steel columns and barrel vault shape. The existing corrugated steel roof was replaced with contemporary aluminium roofing to comply with current building regulations. The soffit was left exposed to provide a crisp and modern solution, reminiscent of the original building’s soffit appearance.
The project involved a high level of partner involvement, careful consideration of the existing historical fabric and a detailed, structured approach to working. The project was nominated for and successfully awarded the prestigious Hertfordshire Association of architects award in 2006, setting a precedent for other similar developments in the area.
This now refurbished unist is home to a company called Harman, who design and engineer connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems; audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions and connected services. More than 25 million cars on the road today are equipped with Harman audio and connected car systems. Most people travelling to the retail park in which the Dutch barn sits, will be car owners, as the site itself is only really accessible by car and is too far to walk from any station.