Conversion of a dilapidated and redundant barn into an education resource centre with support office for the Chichester Harbour Conservancy, plus an additional office and store for commercial rent.
The overriding design principle was to preserve the rural and agricultural character of the existing barn, whilst securing the building fabric and making necessary changes to accommodate its new use.
To this end, new openings were restricted to just one new window on the NE elevation and the reinstatement of a blocked up opening on the SW elevation. Perhaps more importantly, the major barn opening on the NW elevation, previously infilled with a door, fletton brickwork and window was reinstated as a large glazed opening with external sliding screens.
The existing internal wall finish of cobbled flintwork was considered an important component of the buildings character and it was agreed with Building Control that the walls to the main barn could remain uninsulated to preserve the quality of the space. All other walls were dri-lined to bring the fabric up to current thermal standards. In a similar vein, internal finishes such as the concrete floor were chosen to give a robust, non domestic appearance that would retain the character of the building. Landscaping to the courtyard was limited to a simple raised planter with a single hazel tree to soften and provide a focus to the courtyard and provide much needed shade to visitors in the summer months.
Winner of the Sussex Heritage Trust Public and Community Award 2013 as
“A fine example of a restored, new use, barn in a beautiful setting”.