Extension, Piper Barn

Ashworth Parkes Architects Ltd, Cambridgeshire, 2019


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in


Matthew Smith     Download Original

  • pbg-2    
  • pbg-18    
  • pbg-3    
  • pbg-17    
  • pbg-16    
  • pbg-19    
  • pbg-15    
  • pbg-14    
  • pbg-13    
  • pbg-12    
  • pbg-10    
  • pbg-9    
  • pbg-8    
  • pbg-7    
  • pbg-6    
  • pbg-5    
  • pbg-11    
  • pbg-4    
  • pbg-21    
  • pbg-20    
  • pbg-1    
  • ground_floor_plan_1    
  • section_1    
  • section_2    
  • section_3    
  • elevations_0    

The site is part of a range of barns that sit within the curtilage of a Grade I-listed manor house in a village outside Cambridge.

The client approached us to add a small extension that would double the size of the space that was currently serving as both his dining space and kitchen, to add a bootroom, a utility space and a larder and to open up the rather gloomy interior and maximise the views to the garden, which had matured beautifully over the years since the barns were originally converted in 1999.

The solution was to keep the kitchen and larder in the same location, but to make it larger and to build a new ‘pavilion’ outside the house that would house the dining and sitting area, with the bootroom and utility to the side. The inspiration for the design was the traditional conservatory: the structure is orientated directly to the south.

The walls of glass ensure that it allows in the maximum daylight possible to penetrate deep into the plan, minimise the impact of the new building on the old, while the details of the design, the heavy roof, the glass specification and the brise soleil help to maintain a steady temperature throughout summer and winter.

Mirrored stainless steel columns, which dissolve into the landscape, and the ‘glass to glass’ make the, apparently weighty, timber coffered ceiling appear to float, while giving a sense of space for family gatherings and dinner parties.

Remotely operated, concealed copper blinds disappear into the perimeter of the ceiling, giving protection from the low winter sun and bouncing a warm glow up onto the soffit of the ceiling. The large sliding door when opens the space directly to the garden outside.


  • Begun: Jul 2018
  • Completed: Jan 2019
  • Floor area: 77m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £165,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Procurement: No Contract
  • Address: Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom