An Old Barn, Reimagined Green, in Bedfordshire

The design pros at Nicolas Tye Architects seem to have a thing for old English barns and their potential to “bring together new architecture and old.” The firm had already gotten a taste for such projects with a 4-bedroom home barn conversion in the home counties (the counties of South East England and the East of England that surround London). Why not build their own design studio in the countryside, based on green design principles?

That seems to be the thinking behind the Long Barn Studio, a 2,200-square-foot-studio space constructed on the ruins of an old barn in Bedfordshire. eVolo reports that the studio, home to the Nicolas design team, offers “modern yet subtle appeal,” making use of materials that speak to rural context, including timber cladding and corrugated Cor-Ten steel. The glazed, elevated windows of this studio offer up panoramic views of the surrounding countryside–sure to spark great ideas in the creative minds at work within.

Long Barn Studio

image via eVolo

In keeping with the firm’s focus on sustainability, environmental issues and using natural, healthy materials wherever possible, the Long Barn Studio comes with a fine array of green building features. The studio uses electricity generated, in part, by its on-site wind turbine (a great take on the rural windmills of days gone by), while a rainwater harvesting system captures precipitation for building use.

An air heat recovery circulation system helps the structure make the most of the energy used in heating and cooling, while central vacuum and lighting controls work to keep the building’s energy use to a minimum. Energy efficient lighting choices, organic paints and non-toxic sealers round out the studio’s green profile.

Long Barn Studio

image via eVolo

All told, this is a project that brings a green ethic together with an organic aesthetic. Perhaps we’ll see more barn conversions popping up around the U.S. in the coming years–perhaps in that cutting-edge green building state of Kansas?

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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