Jack Mill

Featherstone Young, Hassocks, 2016


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The Modernist home is built on the site of two disused windmills 

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  • The Modernist home is built on the site of two disused windmills    
  • Featherstone Young has effectively ‘encased’ areas of the house and granary    
  • Punched aluminium forms slot over the existing structures    
  • The aluminium shell    
  • Glulam beams slot over the granary    
  • As much as possible of the original structure has been kept within the new shell    
  • The structure is is a modern interpretation of the original timber shed    
  • The new timber floor and beams were mostly set above the existing in order to be as unobtrusive as possible    
  • The existing granary building was dilapidated and highly modified, akin to a collection of structures piled one atop another    
  • The architect conceived the conservation and redevelopment of the building as a matter of encasing existing elements in a light-filled shell     
  • Some parts of the building are timber framed with massive and exposed L-shaped glulam beams and columns defining the envelope internally and externally    
  • Parquet flooring    
  • Location plan    
  • Site plan    
  • Floorplans    
  • Long section and short section    
  • Axonometric drawing    
  • Working detail – variant section at solid roof edge location    

Aluminium ‘pop-ups’ are the distinctive feature of this restoration of a Modernist house, a disused granary and a redundant windmill.

Featherstone Young Architects was commissioned not only to spruce up the home, but to work with English Heritage, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the recently formed South Downs National Park to tackle the more daunting task of redeveloping the granary and, crucially, restoring Jack, not to a fully functioning mill but to a tourist destination or home or even a wedding chapel.

Featherstone Young has effectively ‘encased’ areas of the house and granary. Most noticeable are what Featherstone terms the ‘pop-ups’ – punched aluminium forms which slot over the existing structures along the Jack/Jill axis; in the house providing a small second-floor area and in the granary encasing part of the original roof structure.  

Featherstone Young cleared the cluttered first-floor level and increased the glazing to reinforce both the east-west ‘mill axis’ and the north-south axis that looks out to sea in one direction and across the South Downs National Park in the other. The eastern side houses more private spaces – a study and bedrooms – as well as an updated staircase that now leads up into the ‘pop-up’, a small, fresh space clad in white-stained ply with glazing that looks directly out at the aluminium shell. 

The granary has been stripped back and encased by a new roof structure, retaining what was left of the original timbers. Part of this is achieved by the ‘pop-up’ in the centre, but at either end, new glulam beams slot over, clad between with black-stained marine ply, punctuated by areas of glazing. As much as possible of the original structure has been kept within the new shell, with old, worn timbers suggesting the previous (incredibly low) ceiling heights.

The much higher space to the south now serves primarily as a music room, with the cosier northern section serving as another lounge or even a dining room. Two small bedrooms sit tucked away on the upper floor to the north of the granary, accessed via a lantern-like staircase clad in acrylic and through almost hidden doors. This means that up to seven people can have a bedroom each across the site.


  • Begun: Feb 2015
  • Completed: Jun 2016
  • Floor area: 412m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • CO2 Emissions: 21kg/m2/year
  • Address: Mill Lane, Sayers Common, Clayton, Hassocks, BN6 9HN, United Kingdom

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