Old Bearhurst by
Duggan Morris Architects

| 9 comments
 

A converted nineteenth century farm building once used for drying hops has been nominated for the RIBA Manser Medal for the best new house in the UK, following a renovation and extension by architects Duggan Morris (photographs by James Brittain + slideshow).

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

Set amongst the agricultural fields of East Sussex, the restored buildings of Old Bearhurst include the brickwork oast house, with its two circular towers and pointed cowls, and a timber-clad barn.

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

The architects constructed a single-storey extension to tie these two structures together, but set the floor of the building slightly below ground level to prevent the new roof rising above the eaves of the oast towers.

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

Roughly sawn green oak clads the exterior of the new block, which accommodates a kitchen, living room and playroom for the client's growing family.

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

Utility rooms are sunken by another half a storey to separate them from the main domestic activities.

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

Only the original buildings feature a first floor, creating bedrooms and bathrooms at opposite ends of the house.

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

Concrete floors dominate at ground floor level, while timber lines the floors and surfaces of rooms upstairs.

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

Last year Duggan Morris were awarded the RIBA Manser Medal for the renovation of a 1960’s residence.

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

This year they face competition from four other projects, including a holiday home from Alain de Botton’s Living Architecture series.

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

See more projects by Duggan Morris Architects on Dezeen »

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

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Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

Here's some text about the project from Duggan Morris:


Old Bearhurst involved the extensive remodelling of a two century old Oast House to provide space to accommodate the client's growing family.

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

The scheme included a complete overhaul of the existing barn and roundels as well as the construction of a new annex.

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

The building is set within agricultural land and defined by an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which has drawn out a unique response to the topography, landscape, history and setting.

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

Site plan - click above for larger image

The project was aimed at creating a unified series of flowing, contemporary spaces, allowing a greater degree of flexibility, linking internal spaces to the impressive rolling fields to the south, and the higher meadow land of the north. Equally, the brief called for a building with character and personality, respectful of the existing Oast house, and taking advantage of the views and surrounding environment.

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

Ground floor plan - click above for larger image

A key objective of the brief was to 'rediscover' the integrity of the building through careful observation and research where new additions and alterations would work harmoniously to create a new envisioned whole.

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

First floor plan - click above for larger image

However, the core ambition of the scheme was to create a dwelling which, over time, would come to reflect an exemplar approach to contemporary rural renovation work and to create a flexible living environment for the growing family within the exceptional surrounds.

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

Section - click above for larger image

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

Section - click above for larger image

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

Section - click above for larger image

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

North elevation - click above for larger image

Old Bearhurst by Duggan Morris

South elevation - click above for larger image

  • Dinnebier

    Great house, but how do the towers look from inside?

  • Donkey

    Is that really a TV embedded into the original brickwork? Otherwise, I’ll pick up the keys tomorrow. Gorgeous!

  • Anon

    It’s not a TV, but a bespoke fire place which cuts through the barn wall and connects old oast to annex.

    • ABC

      Can’t beat a leather hearth.

  • Michael

    The usual very high standards from Duggan Morris! Would be interested to know how durable the end grain of that oak cladding is though and how durable the timber cladding on the roof? Timber cladding a roof like that always ends with difficult questions, ie is it inevitably only an aesthetic decision because a completely separate, watertight roof has to be formed underneath, or does it serve any useful purpose? Does it aid snowloading?! Seems a bit of a weak argument.

    These aren’t rhetorical questions by the way. I want answers!

    • http://twitter.com/Dezeen @Dezeen

      Hi Michael,

      I've emailed the architects, so hopefully they'll be able to answer your questions!

      Amy/Dezeen

    • http://twitter.com/Dezeen @Dezeen

      Hi again Michael, here's a response from Joe Morris:

      The roofs were designed as a continuous treatment from the facades, in order to ensure the annex read as a clustered arrangement of sculptural forms.

      The roof plane is visible from a great many vantage points and it was felt that it should be treated as an articulated surface, with folds and offsets adding interest.

      Not unlike a balcony with a timber decked terrace, the detailing is quite straight forward with the timber self loading onto a single ply membrane which does all the water proofing and weather protection. The timber skin also allows us to conceal many other unwanted aspects of the scheme including gutters and rain water pipes.

      The material itself, Plato Wood, is a patented product which is significantly more durable than other timbers. Working closely with their technical department we concluded that the longevity of the cladding is no less than that of the membrane below it, and due to the nature in which it is detailed, is easily replaceable during the life time of the building.

      Amy/Dezeen

  • Ricky

    Penis floor plans are my fav!

  • Michael Swanson

    Those two jolly little towers shouldn’t be visually water-boarded by that bland interference.