Converted Henfield Dutch barn wins major architectural award

A 1930s Dutch barn converted into a family home in Henfield has won a major architectural award.

The barn that has been converted into a family home
The barn that has been converted into a family home

Morlands Farm Dutch Barn designed by Sandy Rendel Architects has been named South East Project of the Year by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

It will now be considered for a highly-coveted RIBA National Award to be announced in June.

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Morlands Farm is a private house with an eight-acre public garden - Sussex Prairie Gardens – in Wheatsheaf Road, Henfield.

Inside the converted barn

Sandy Rendel Architects were commissioned to convert an historic barn within the garden, making use of planning rules that allow the conversion of agricultural buildings outside of traditional development boundaries.

RIBA says: “The architects have successfully turned the existing structure into a contemporary house that carries a quiet authenticity.

"Through careful detailing and research into materials, the building retains the feel of the original ‘black wrinkly tin’ barn, whilst the large, abstractly-positioned windows give a contemporary look that speaks also of the ways that such barns are patched and change over time.

“Inside, the house is ‘upside-down’: the ground floor contains light-filled bedrooms and an office for administering the gardens, but the real magic is upstairs.

"Rough-sawn timber stairs lead up to a single large space with a great curving vaulted ceiling which follows the shape of the roof.”

"Here the architect’s skill has conjured a space that feels grand and yet also intimate and warm, which creates different zones for different activities without losing the sense of the whole."