Barns are the enduring symbols of a vibrant rural tradition as well as the heart and soul of a new generation of imaginative country houses.Architects are now using and rethinking these alluring and escapist structures, employing design principles that ensure they continue to complement the natural landscape in which they are set. Barns examines the architecture and design of barn conversions and a new generation of contemporary barn houses and illustrates a wide variety of ways to approach such spaces. Each chapter focuses on a key theme -- Landscape, Architecture, Materials, Light, Open Spaces and Private Spaces -- and features detailed case studies. All of the locations are part of a new wave of conversions or new-builds, spurred on by the growing exodus of city dwellers to the countryside.
The country equivalent of the urban loft, barns offer similar opportunities for open-plan flexible living. The open spaces and high ceilings give them a fluidity that allows multifunctional spaces for eating, relaxing and entertaining, making them the home of choice for those wanting to combine rural traditions and natural landscape with new architecture and unconventional layouts. As well as celebrating the new innovations in dividing and ordering space and experimenting with unexpected materials within such traditional structures, Barns also explores the attractions of vernacular architecture that encourages so many architects and homeowners to look again at the traditional barn materials like thatch, wood, mud and straw.