Long Farm by
Lucy Marston

| 22 comments
 

This house in rural England was designed by British architect Lucy Marston to reference old English farmhouses and features red brickwork, a steep gabled profile and a corner chimney (+ slideshow).

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

Located in the county of Suffolk, Long Farm is a three-storey family residence clad in a mixture of regional materials that includes terracotta roof tiles, lime mortar and timber details.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

"We wanted to make a building that belonged on the site," says Lucy Marston. "Familiar building elements and materials were carefully composed to create a house that is clearly of its time, but with an identity firmly routed in its locale. It was intended to be immediately recognisable as a Suffolk house that feels at home on the farm."

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

Skylights are lined up along both sides of the roof, while large windows cover all four elevations, allowing light to filter into the house at different times of day.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

A similar materials palette continues through the interior. Martson explains: "Whitewashed brickwork, painted timber linings and exposed ceiling beams were used to give honest depth, texture and character to a modern interior."

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

The client works as a writer and requested quiet spaces for working as well as larger areas for entertaining guests or spending time as a family.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

Marston thus added a a series of rooms on the ground floor that can be opened out to create a large living room or subdivided to create a "snug", a reading room and a playroom for the children. There's also a study across the corridor.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

A large kitchen is located at the opposite end of this floor and features a dining table that can seat up to ten people, as well as a traditional farmhouse sink and a double stove.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

Four bedrooms occupy the first floor and include two master bedrooms with private bathrooms, plus a pair of children's rooms that can be combined to form one large room.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

"The clients wanted to build a simple, modest building that would adapt to accommodate them as the family developed," says the architect.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

Other rural English houses featured on Dezeen include a converted stable block in Hampshire and a stone house on the Isle of Man. See more houses in the UK.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

Photography is by Jack Hobhouse.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

Here's the full project description from Lucy Marston:


Long Farm, Suffolk

Long Farm is a new family home in rural Suffolk, England. The house sits high among a group of existing farm buildings, facing east across salt marshes and open fields, towards the sea.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

We wanted to make a building that 'belonged' on the site and so the design emerged from its context. The steeply pitched roof and linear form were influenced by the traditional 'long house' form that can be seen throughout that part of the country.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

Familiar building elements and materials - a corner chimney, brick and lime mortar, teracotta tiles and timber - were carefully composed to create a house that is clearly of its time, but with an identity firmly routed in its locale. It was intended to be immediately recognisable as a Suffolk house that feels at home on the farm.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

Capturing the unique views around the house, in all directions was key. From the dawn in the east over the sea to sunset over the reed beds to the far west, windows and rooflights were placed precisely to track the sun and and views throughout the course of the day. Windows were kept large to frame dramatic views, but balanced with the occupants' domestic desire for enclosure, privacy and warmth.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

Internally, the vernacular references continue: a super-sized inglenook in the sitting room, a generous hall and landing that almost become rooms, window sills deep enough to sit in and a 'farmhouse kitchen' arranged around a large family table. Whitewashed brickwork, painted timber linings and exposed ceiling beams were used to give honest depth, texture and character to a modern interior.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

The house was designed to accommodate a family of four with guests, with room for different age groups to carry out activities in different parts of the house.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

As a writer with young children, the client had conflicting requirements, requiring solitude in order to work and also sociable interlinked spaces for the everyday bustle of sociable family life and frequent visitors.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

The plan, an update of the traditional single room depth long house layout, was developed as a series of smaller rooms with their own identities (a playroom, a reading room, a snug).

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

These can be closed off and used separately with access via the hall or opened up with sliding doors to create a more fluid semi-open plan space. Likewise the childrens' bedrooms can be opened up to form one big room or closed off for privacy.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

The clients wanted to build a simple, modest building that would adapt to accommodate them as the family developed. They also wanted a building that would weather well, would require little or no maintenance and minimal energy to run.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

At Long Farm, we aimed to make a building that was not only robust and flexible enough to age well over time, but one that aimed to be sustainable long term in an aesthetic sense, that had a timeless or 'classic' quality to it.

Long Farm by Lucy Marston

Landscape Consultant: Marie Clarke, Clarke Associates
Structural Engineer: David Cantrill, JP Chick and Partners
Contractor: Robert Norman Construction

Long Farm by Lucy Marston
Site plan - click for larger image
Long Farm by Lucy Marston
Ground floor plan - click for larger image and key
Long Farm by Lucy Marston
First floor plan - click for larger image and key
Long Farm by Lucy Marston
Second floor plan
Long Farm by Lucy Marston
Cross sections one and two - click for larger image
Long Farm by Lucy Marston
Cross sections three and four - click for larger image
  • Theo

    A very elegant, considered and appropriate design.

    The architect is to be commended.

  • http://www.theenglisheye.com Mr J

    A little too Plain Jane for me.

    In particular, those windows are so stark, they need some lintels at least.

    Still, get some creepers up the walls, plus a decade or two of weathering, and it may well have softened nicely by 2050.

  • Bob

    Proper good.

  • Rory Bergin

    It’s an elegant piece of work, but the article is lacking in information. Why are there no solar panels for example? It’s a big house and will be expensive to heat, how is it heated? Why is there a chimney at one end and a big flue at the other, why not two chimneys, or two flues? Why allow the TV aerial on the elevation? Its seems to be almost there as a piece of design, but not quite. The staircase looks like a massive missed opportunity, two weak different stairs where one could have done, and could have been a bold statement.

    • Bob

      I think the stairs are just fine as they are.

    • Chris

      Probably because there are far more efficient and elegant methods of capturing heat than solar panels.

      As for your ‘bold statement’, why does architecture have to be bold? Can’t it just be subtle and functional, ie. like this?

  • http://www.zazous.co.uk Kate Austin

    I love the interiors but I hate the external shots. Ugly bricks and no cohesion to the proportions and positions of the windows. Just looks clumsy to me.

  • 鳶澤秀満

    足し過ぎず引き過ぎない、適度なバランスが絶妙です。

  • Olgiati

    Perfect in every way.

  • http://www.wikiartis.com Daniel

    I love the clarity!

  • Donkey

    This is so neat and unfussy, a really great update on traditional farmhouses without being a pastiche.

    Would agree with the windows comments though. Looks great from the inside, but not from the outside. Could be the missing lintels as mentioned, or could be they look slightly out of proportion (too big).

    I’m sure the client’s very happy though. :)

  • http://www.mbparchitects.com Michael Phillips

    A really good project. I am reminded of Tony Fretton's comment about it being time to reclaim the vernacular from mass housbuilders (who have all but destroyed it).

  • 111

    Shame about the wooden coldsore, christ!

  • common sense

    This work should be commended – very easy to be critical, people.

    Dread to think of the pastiche crap the planners would have wanted instead of this!

  • fraperic

    The interior is very striking, but the exterior lacks a little articulation for me. I think it would have benefitted from a contracting roof tile, slate grey, and certainly the lintels over the window. State the understatedness of it.

  • Crack

    The kitchen tiles run vertical? Huh?

  • TIm Smith

    I can’t understand why the architect could not have used a traditional brick fan on the external elevation of the windows. Instead there’s a visually disturbing course of bricks just hanging above the window openings. Why is the roof pitch so steep? It looks really odd. Internally there are horrible details everywhere. Why does the fireplace hang over in mid air? Argh, that looks ridiculous. One good thing is location location location! Anything is nice with a lovely view to get up to in the morning! Marks out of 10? A pretty poor five.

  • PeterB

    Do any of those extremely plain windows actually open? If not, then how is ventilation and/or cooling achieved, without excessive energy use, in the summer months? The building is in a fully exposed location, without shading from trees and there is a good deal of glass that will allow sunlight and its heat into the house spaces. Could it be that this might be a way of keeping farmyard smells at bay? But doing so also bars fresh air, which should be one of the reasons for living in such a landscape. Solar PV or other renewable energy sources appear to be lacking, which could help to keep costs down.

    Interesting building, but a little cold and bare at present. Needs more living to make it a welcoming home.

    • Ralph Kent

      Well, I spotted 4 windows with handles on the slideshow, so I’m guessing they do?

  • Sultony

    Compared with so much minimalist rubbish these days and Miesian designs this is refreshing, BUT a missed opportunity. Aping the vernacular is fine but more imagination is required in the spatial configuration with the structure, as it almost looks like a conversion rather than a newbuild.

    For example: the angles of the pitched roof could have been echoed internally elsewhere; the roof could have been stepped with gaps missing with possibly an inset balcony; the large glazed openings provide external viewers with more of the interior, whereas for people inside they are not really necessary, especially in this climate of the UK, because a large expanse of view is not a primary need, whereas smaller windows provide more useful wall surface internally, better insulation and a gentler connection to the outside.

  • http://www.pedrosilmon.com Pedro Silmon

    Instead of blighting every town and village in the country with new houses in an architecturally worthless cocktail of ‘vernacular’ styles, housing developers would do well to take a leaf out of this book.

  • quedirait d’alembert

    Will all the respect to criticism, I found most of it misplaced. How do we know what the client wanted or did not want, like or did not like, in terms of spatial experience and details? For example, lintels, pitch of roof – why not so high? – and large views out – again, why not? What is not a ‘need’ for one might be essential for another person?

    Also it is obvious there are plenty of openable windows in this scheme both at ground and upper levels which would work wonderfully given the narrowness of the plan. And why the need for renewable bling if the house is well insulated? May be there are provisions for connecting PV panels at a later stage. In other words, we don’t know the full story, but one thing is sure. The internal architecture is simple, legible, functional as well as having very good proportions and natural light, all features which I am sure the client wanted above and other some of the suggestions made in the previous comments.