Abbots Barn

Ripe, East Sussex

Project: New build extension with associated external works
Client: Private
Project Location: Ripe, East Sussex
Completion Date: June 2019
Main Contractor: MB Cable

Located in sight of the South Downs National Park, the annexe was designed to sit respectively alongside the existing dwelling. The annexe forms a fourth side to the main property’s entrance courtyard and its presence protects the area from a strong south westerly prevailing wind. Meanwhile, large glazed openings to the south and west elevations address the surrounding landscape and views of the National Park, something lacked previously.

Materially, the gabled form provides a new interpretation of the dwelling’s existing material palette. Black timber shingles wrap the building envelope above plinth level with matt black framed fenestration, concealed gutters and inset photovoltaic panels becoming subservient to the textured facade.

The 4Kw photovoltaic array upon the south facing roof pitch powers an air source heat pump, providing year round underfloor heating to the highly insulated extension. Operating at below zero net carbon per annum, excess electricity is fed back into the properties main electrical circuit, thus reducing the entire dwelling’s carbon footprint. Timber frame and bolted steel construction techniques were chosen to encourage end of life deconstruction, working towards a closed loop circular economy without compromise on quality, performance or aesthetic.

The clients’ multi-generational living aspiration also looks towards the future. Whilst the clients presently sleep in the main house and reside in the annexe by day, they foresee one day moving into the annexe on a permanent basis, allowing their children and grandchildren to occupy the main house itself. In the meantime, the annexe provides accommodation for visiting friends and family, showcasing the landscape and wildlife that surrounds it.

Photography: Leigh Simpson