The Cowshed

Design Storey

‘The Cowshed’ is a residential project is a sensitive conversion of a historic listed barn, located in a conservation area in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Beauty, into a two bedroomed dwelling.

The clients purchased the barn with an extant consent in place for conversion however they felt the permitted scheme didn’t make the best use of the space or celebrate the unique qualities of the building. They approached design storey to explore a new design and create a home blending contemporary and historic features. There were several challenges, both in terms of design, the planning process and construction. The design challenge was to optimise the layout to take full advantage of the historic building, as the footprint is small and had very low eaves . The planning challenge was to minimise the impact on the historic fabric and associated construction challenges. The design solution was to take a conservation-led approach, retaining as much historic fabric as possible. Both sides of the barn were united by inserting a timber pod structure into the fabric of the listed building which housed a new staircase; this mitigated a level change and acted as a divider between the bedrooms and bathrooms. An ensuite bathroom was tucked under the eaves. An innovative approach was taken to the reuse of the building’s timber structure, which was “lifted” into its original position; this provided an interesting construction challenge and enabled complete reuse with minimum intervention. Even the original padstones, discovered during construction, were reused.