17 December, 2011

Long Barn Studio, Nicolas Tye Architects

An architectural studio in an old barn.

Greek version

The Long Barn Studio is located within a village at Mid-Bedfordshire of United Kingdom. Nicolas Tye Architects begun to out-grow an existing studio space within the director' s home (an existing barn which was converted in 2004). The aim was to create a new studio space which could provide a comfortable, healthy and inspiring environment for a team of twelve architects.




One of the key design philosophies was to harmonize and complement the existing structure of the barn in the ‘farm-stead', a clear agricultural environment. The existing barn (which is only 20m away and also incorporates a contemporary architectural approach) provided the main planning guide and it was essential that the new studio (both in scale and materials) did not detract from this pre-existing structure and was in complete harmony with the spacial environment.




The studio itself is set down within the surrounding open landscape, and the subtle materials which are used in a simple way reflect the local harmony. The concept of the design is based around an elegant glass. Nicolas Tye Architects chose simple form and materials and created a rectilinear box which compliments the existing linear lines of the adjacent barn and which is enclosed at both ends with larch surface, resembling the ‘book-ends'.

The Larch protects the structure from weather both externally and internally creating seamless visual lines. The ‘frame-less' glass panels allow high levels of natural daylight into the studio along the northern side and the surrounding landscape to become integrated into the studio environment. Along the southern elevation larch clad timber pods also punctuate the glass facades, which remove issues with overheating. Each pod has a dedicated use (architectural Library, reprographics area, toilets and meeting room).





Cor-ten steel detailing is also used throughout the studio to reflect the original agricultural nature of the site and accentuates the smaller picture windows and linear roof line. Within the studio's interior a continuous limestone floor enhances the main axis, and the space is broken up through a series of ‘pods' which contain ancillary elements (kitchen, materials' storage, document library, individual staff storage).





All external walls are built from 200mm solid block work, externally insulated and clad in larch, all the internal walls are blockwork. This principle of thermal mass prevents the studio from rapidly heating up and cooling down. The building far exceeds the various building regulation requirements. Various sustainable technologies are also incorporated (a wind turbine, rainwater harvesting, reed bed sewage, compost facilities, staff vegetable garden, low energy centrally controlled lighting and underfloor heating system throughout, eco/ organic paint, a central vacuum and a combined heat exchange air source heat pump).

The studio was completed in one year and was kept to programme due to the rapid expansion of the practice and an urgent requirement for more space.

This simple solution respects the surrounding s and the users' needs. Nicolas Tye Architects created a friendly and comfortable working space in a harmonic natural landscape that has far enough facilities for its users even if it is located outside the urban environment.

Long Barn Studio was awarded with RIBA ARCHITECTURAL AWARDS 2009




Editing: Maria Papadimitriou, architect engineer
Information: courtesy Nicolas Tye Architects
Images: courtesy Nicolas Tye Architects


Project details
Architects: Nicolas Tye Architects
Structural Engineer Consultant: Akera Engineers
Planning Consultant: Phillips Planning Services
Photography: Philip Bier, Nerida Howard
Lighting: Modular Lighting Instruments


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