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Black Barn in Suffolk

Paragraph 55 Contemporary Home in Eastern England – design by Studio Bark Architects

22 Jun 2016

Black Barn

Design: Studio Bark

Location: Suffolk, East England, UK

Studio Bark receives full planning approval for Black Barn; an off-grid Paragraph 55 country home in Suffolk

Black Barn

Studio Bark received full planning approval for Black Barn, a two-storey, five bedroom, off-grid Paragraph 55 home in Suffolk. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Paragraph 55 allows individual countryside homes to be built, provided that they reflect the highest standards of architecture, sustainability and innovation.

Black Barn

Black Barn by Studio Bark
Dallinghoo, Suffolk
300 sqm
Planning permission February 2016

Design innovation
Black Barn is a rigorously environmental family residence for a local couple and their young family. The design is a modern yet sensitive interpretation of the humble black agricultural barns that have scattered the East Anglian countryside for centuries. The house will be seamlessly clad in charred timber; an ancient Japanese application of charring timber as a form of preservation; a natural, non-toxic way to enhance the longevity and beauty of wood.

Inspired by the building’s ambition to have as little impact as possible on its surroundings, the building appears as a floating sculptural form, hovering over a wild grass meadow. A dramatic roof line is cast from the large gable end opening to the south, which then tapers to North. The simple form and orientation has been designed to maximise solar heat gain and natural ventilation.

Environmental innovation
As a completely self-sustaining home, the major features that allow Black Barn to go off-grid are:

● Solar array
● Bio-diesel generator with heat recovery system
● Battery storage
● On site sewage treatment technology
● Water sourced through borehole

This low impact building uses locally sourced timber, aggregate and flint, hugely reducing the home’s carbon footprint. Food miles are also minimised by the planting of a domestic orchard of local tree species and vegetable patches.

A combination of passive environmental design strategies provide season specific heating and cooling. The timber frame itself is highly insulated and draught free, using natural insulation materials to reduce embodied energy. The hot summer sun is blocked out by the substantial gabled overhang, whereas the cooler winter sun is able to enter into the thermal envelope. The increased height at the south gable end and minimised building depth, encourages natural cross and stack ventilation. In addition, the in-situ GGBS concrete floor slab to the south provides a dense element which absorbs a lot of the sun’s heat, eventually releasing it into the space once the internal temperature drops.

Black Barn is Studio Bark’s second Paragraph 55 home to receive full planning permission following Periscope House in Norfolk, the first Code Level 6 home to be built through this clause and featured on C4’s Grand Designs.

Black Barn

“We were absolutely delighted to receive a unanimous vote of approval. During the development of the design, we undertook an intense period of research following a progressive discourse with the planners, Suffolk Design Review Panel, and the many consultants we have collaborated with over the last year. We are strong advocates of sustainable living and reducing energy consumption. In a rural setting, going off-grid is particularly relevant as the natural environment presents so many opportunities to reduce your impact.”
– Sarah Bland, Director, Studio Bark

“The benefit of this NPPF test and of such high quality schemes as the submitted one is that they continuously develop the language of rural design and help create a twenty-first century vernacular … The end result is highly original in terms of the strength of the original concept, its derivation and the form of its expression. Although born of a modest, if not humble, building typology the submitted scheme presents itself as innovative architecture and easily raises the bar for the quality of design in rural areas.”
– Robert Scrimgeour, Senior Design and Conservation Officer, Suffolk Coastal District Council

“We hope that the finished building will be a credit to all concerned. Dallinghoo is a very special village and deserves the best!” – Cliff Green, local resident, Dallinghoo

Black Barn in Suffolk images / information from Studio Bark

Location:Suffolk, England

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Black Barn in Suffolk – page

Website: Studio Bark