The Barn House
The site is situated North West of the village of Codicote, close to the villages of Old Knebworth and Whitwell. The building is not within a conservation area and lies just outside the green belt boundary. The site is in the vicinity, though not adjacent to a few areas marked in the local plan for interests of archeology, wildlife and ‘Hoo Park’ designated as a historic park. The site gradually received planning permission for the conversion of all the buildings for residential purposes.
Brooks Murrays latest project extended to unify the Cowshed and Main Barns that are currently two separate buildings Brooks Murray also extended the southerly end of the main barn. Existing penetrations in building fabric were used for windows and doors where possible and further penetrations were kept to a minimum.
The barn was previously used as an informal store for household items. The rectilinear nature of the original building has been adapted to provide better functionality of the spaces to create volumes of space that can be utilized well. The new materials have the same palette as the existing, including includes oak, clay tiles and oak weather-boarding. The palette of materials was kept simple in the construction of partitions, floors and ceilings, doors and windows were also chosen for their simplicity.
The development included undertaking measures to reduce the impact on the local area and on its consumption of water and electricity from the mains. Research on the feasibility of ground source heat pumps and rainwater harvesting were done thoroughly.
A survey of Bat habitats and the monitoring of their possible use of the barn was undertaken. A brief ecological investigation of the site suggested that there were no further areas of concern where we might impact upon important fauna and flora.