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Craven's Manor Barn

Henham, Suffolk

The project to convert a 16th-century Suffolk barn into a family house was started when Ben Kilburn worked with Geoff Pyle of Pyle Boyd Architects. When the client decided to do the second phase of the barn they asked Ben, now at Kilburn Nightingale, to manage the work on site as Geoff was temporarily abroad.

The second phase involved completing the project by developing the second half of the barn. This created two further bedrooms, a bathroom, a large open plan living space and a new staircase leading from the double-height hall up to the living area. The staircase was kept as transparent as possible to allow the light as far into the open areas as possible. The original frame is exposed, the material palette is kept simple with an exposed concrete fireplace and lime-rendered walls. The floors are sealed plywood to give a warmth and resonance with the exposed timber of the frame. The rooms are naturally lit by metal windows set in cedar linings configured to reveal sections of the original oak frame set against views of the surrounding Suffolk countryside.