Lake District Building Contractor

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A twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry re-imag­i­na­tion of a twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry agri­cul­tur­al barn

In 1998 the last trac­tor pulled up at Skelsmergh Hall farm – the Tay­lors who farmed the area for gen­er­a­tions sad­ly decid­ed to sell up. The fol­low­ing year we con­vert­ed the tra­di­tion­al farm build­ings into 15 res­i­den­tial units which were sold individually. 

As part of the devel­op­ment, we retained own­er­ship of the 1980’s built steel-framed hay barn and lean-to cow shed and it became stor­age space and work­shops for the next few years.

In 2016 fol­low­ing a strate­gic and lengthy appli­ca­tion process we acquired per­mit­ted devel­op­ment rights to con­vert the once steel por­tal framed barn into five deluxe homes. 


We seized the oppor­tu­ni­ty to design and build a bold­ly designed con­tem­po­rary scheme not yet seen in the area.

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Draw­ing inspi­ra­tion from Scan­di­na­vian design prin­ci­ples we cre­at­ed a new com­mu­ni­ty of imag­i­na­tive, larch-clad mod­ern homes that have blend­ed into their rur­al setting.

Each home was designed upside down’ due to the exist­ing barn being built in a basin and into a banking. 

Plac­ing the liv­ing accom­mo­da­tion at first floor made advan­tage of roof lit vault­ed ceil­ings adding a greater feel of open­ness. We designed in stor­age space where ever pos­si­ble to pro­mote a min­i­mal­ist look, reflect­ing how the inte­ri­or has been designed.

To com­ply with the per­mit­ted devel­op­ment rules ele­ments of the struc­ture must be retained to be deemed a con­ver­sion’. In this instance all the fab­ric of the build­ing was removed for re-use beside the asbestos sheets for reg­is­tered land fill. Only the steel frame remained stand­ing and this was out of line and lev­el, prov­ing hard to work with.

The façade was designed to be an open cladded rain screen sys­tem, with nar­row open ver­ti­cal joints, the larch planks keep the rain out and the open joints allow good ven­ti­la­tion to the void.

All five prop­er­ties sold and com­plet­ed in Sep­tem­ber 2020.

Before you go, please click here if you are look­ing for builders in Under­bar­row near Kendal.