Coming up with preliminary designs for the renovation of a 900 sf farmyard building - essentially a barchesa - that will be a holiday home for a couple and their three grown daughters. The site is in York, England, and was part of the Southwoods farm owned by Donald and Audrey Sinclair (Donald was James Herriot's veterinary partner, and a recurrent character in his books). The North Downs run to the near East of the site, creating a bowl around the site as the ridge line snakes, and offering dramatic views. The building itself is made out of rough stone, divided into four bays (the eastern two are the ones that will be renovated, see image below), and is attached to the farm cottage to the west. There is a small brook that runs from east to west along the North of the building, and fields surrounding it on all sides. The weather in this part of the country is cold. At a latitude of almost 54 degrees, winter days are short (sunset ~3:45pm), and the solar angle is very low - about 12.5 degrees midwinter (51 degrees in summer) http://www.srrb.noaa.gov/highlights/sunrise/azel.html. Temperatures can be fickle, but summer temperatures range between 64-70F, and winter temperatures hover around 40F. http://www.wordtravels.com/Cities/England/York/Climate
Building from south side - from courtyard. Farm cottage to the left. Right half to be renovated.
Clients want to add a second floor to the building (footprint 15'x30') to create living space on the ground floor and two bedrooms above.
- utilize natural flows to optimize thermal comfort and solar gain, and to limit dependence on artificial energy sources.
- create an environment, as much as a building, that establishes reciprocity between interior and exterior, through views, space, use, sound, and material. (note: there are four distinct adjacencies; 1. the farmyard 2. the covered barn 3. the forest edge to the east with lawn 4. the rural: brook, fields, and North Downs to the North East and East
- adapt the use and performance of building and its adjacencies to seasonal variation.
- employ juxtaposing material and formal languages that speak to the nature of occupying an old, vernacular building in a modern way; one that coheres with existing and local buildings and building techniques, and another that sympathetically contrasts.