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Brief Published: 29 Feb 2012

Self-Promo Highlights Beautiful Barn on a Budget


London-based Carl Turner Architects has transformed a once dilapidated barn in Norfolk, England into an industrially styled, contemporary residence via a smart use of budget materials, and a concept based on placing rooms within rooms.

A self-funded initiative by the practice, the Ochre Barn was essentially created to develop – and showcase – the skills of the practice over a five-year construction period. Harnessing mass-produced materials including reclaimed pitch pine boards and oriented strand board – all pieced together with the free labour and goodwill of the studio’s own employees – the practice managed to stick to a limited budget of just £300,000 ($478,153) for the entire 444m2 space.

The exterior architectural structure was conserved, with the interior designed to highlight key original features, such as brickwork, doors and windows. Pod-like rooms fit within the larger spaces, ensuring that while the space has all the privacy you’d expect from a home, the overall design has a bias toward more fluid, open spaces.

While definitely not a quick-fix piece of self-promotion, the project does demonstrate how far a DIY mentality can go when supported with a strong vision (and a level of architectural excellence).

See Stylus’ Macrotrend: Control & Create for more on the shift towards grass-roots creativity.

Carl Turner Architects