Art Barn

Thomas Randall-Page Studio, Devon, 2020



Photography by Jim Stephenson (website)     Download Original

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In 2011 Royal Academy sculptor, Peter Randall-Page bought a nondescript, modern cow barn deep in the Devon countryside

He commissioned his son Thomas to convert it into an archive and store for his work. Crafted by Peter’s in-house team of trusted artisans, this 9 year long, father-son collaboration is clear evidence of how architecture can benefit from being done slowly.

A series of industrial scale shutters in cedar and galvanised steel playfully fold and slide, revealing a complex, multi-layered space within a mute and unassuming exterior. Inside the vast day-lit gallery, a freestanding ‘creature’ stands on stone hooves. Known as the ‘Winter Studio’ this room-within-a-room is the project’s nerve centre. It is wrapped in a dark cork and warmed by a wood-burning stove. Beyond its door, a balcony offers long views out through the tree canopy and across the valley.

As the building is re-shuttered on departure, the balcony folds back flat, effortlessly becoming part of the wall again.

“Wood, stone, galvanised steel: the materials and technologies are simple, local and agricultural. The luxury is the time we spent talking, thinking and drawing.” Thomas Randall-Page

The Art Barn sits on the boundary between Devon’s rolling field-scape and the steep and wooded Teign Valley in Dartmoor National Park. This 250m2 solar-powered, off-grid building will function as a drawing studio, sculpture store, archive, occasional gallery, and ultimately a permanent home for Peter’s work.

The Art Barn is a Zero Carbon building, fully off-grid solar powered project. Wood for burning is grown and processed on site.


  • Begun: Oct 2017
  • Completed: Nov 2020
  • Floor area: 240m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £200,000
  • Funding: private
  • Procurement: In house/self-build, (no formal contract)
  • Address: Exeter, Devon, EX6, United Kingdom

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