Award: HAA Awards 2006 (The Hertfordshire Association of Architects Annual Awards).
The Dutch Barn was one of two derelict barns on an old dairy farm in the Hertfordshire countryside near the cathedral city of St Albans.
Brooks Murray were asked to restore and reclad the heritage buildings and bring them into contemporary use.
The Dutch Barn and its sibling project, The Hyde, together converted two derelict barns into a showroom and office. The design of the Dutch Barn itself was bold and simple, retaining the traditional barrel vault shape and leaving the existing steel structure exposed to express its agricultural heritage within a crisp, modern appearance. The existing corrugated steel roof was replaced with contemporary aluminium insulated cladding to provide a more energy-efficient building.
The live site demanded a meticulous programme to ensure adjacent properties were not disrupted. Working closely with the client, Osprey London, the Brooks Murray team studied the existing historical fabric before putting together a detailed, structured approach to the works.
Walls are clad externally with timber weatherboarding to match The Hyde, adjacent. Traditional materials are used inside, including external render, slate flooring and a simple steel staircase, to provide a clean, open space which will last.
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.