Location: Alfriston, East Sussex

Work carried out: Full survey, complex negotiations with Conservation Officer, special design features and detailed servicing requirements.

Project description:

Located near Alfriston within sight of the Long Man of Wilmington to the East and Firle Beacon with the Cuckmere Valley to the West, the barn was purchased as a redundant agricultural; barn with a corrugated metal roof, but in proximity to a farm house which was a Grade 2 Listed Building.

The brief described a development of quality for a large family home. The Conservation Officer was quite restrictive in what he would allow in terms of new glazed openings and so the design was evolved to maintain the main lines of the building using the Cart Porch as a Conservatory / Dining Area and a way to open up views to the East and lets in as much light as possible. There is 5 bedroom accommodation in the Main Barn and a further 1 bedroom flat in the Byre Annexe. The main living space is full height and features a connecting balcony landing linking the North and South end First Floor spaces which is a substantially steel and glass structure. It was conceived as an inspiring focal point within the house and a contrast in its decisive lines to the gnarled and ancient timbers.

There are Passive Ventilation and Underfloor Heating Systems moderating the internal environment.

Our primary aim was to produce a solution sensitive to the historic nature of the building and landscape and at the same time a modern and exciting family home. The scheme was very much a successful collaboration of the skills of the Clients, Contractor, Engineer and Architects working as a team.


2003 Sussex Heritage Trust Award
Small Scale Residential

2003 Downland Prize



I’ve worked with David Kemp of DK Architects several times over the years – firstly on building a studio to work from; secondly when he designed our house in the most spectacular spot high up on the South Downs, and then thirdly when I converted a massive nineteenth century wooden framed barn into a wonderful family house looking across the landscape to The Long man of Wilmington.

Each time David absorbed my brief and then proceeded to enhance it, pull it apart and think about what I wanted to achieve in the most creative and lateral way. The barn won a Sussex heritage award and our house has weathered and worn into a truly beautiful and modern twist on the Arts & Crafts movement. It’s given us 20 years of pleasure.

David and all his colleagues at DK Architects are a fine group of very creative individuals. Like all gifted designers David is not prepared to simply fulfil a brief or knock out mediocre work. Yes he wants his buildings to please his clients and fulfil bring their dreams to life but he also strives to provide the community with architecture that makes the soul sing.

Properties near Alfriston & Eastbourne

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