18th Century Ancient Party Barn by Liddicoat Goldhill. London, UK
London studio Liddicoat & Goldhill has remodelled a derelict barn in Kent, England, to create a home featuring mechanically operated doors and a staircase that wraps around a chimney. Named Ancient Party Barn, the house comprises a cluster of 18th-century buildings that once functioned as a threshing barn, dairy and stables for a farm in rural Folkestone.
Architects David Liddicoat and Sophie Goldhill were tasked with transforming the buildings into a home for a couple who are avid collectors of architectural artefacts, and who were looking for a retreat from the city. “Our task was to combine the quality of the surviving barn fragments with the texture and tone of their found materials,” he said.
The structures were in a fairly dilapidated condition, so their original green oak frames has to be dismantled and repaired offsite.
In one of the smaller blocks it was simply reinstalled, but in the main barn some elements had to be replaced with steel beams – although these are disguised behind structurally insulated panels, all fronted by wood.
One of the biggest interventions was the addition of numerous mechanically operated openings, allowing the building to be either securely closed off, or opened up to take advantage of countryside views. These include large shutters intended to evoke the original barn doors, which front an open space at the centre of the barn. One the other side of this space is another set of doors, concealing a large rotating window operated by an adapted chain lift. Elsewhere, the architects have added an “aircraft-hangar door” that concertinas upwards to create a canopy for a terrace.