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We were commissioned to design a new-build house to replace dilapidated barns within a farm estate in Shropshire. The brief was to create a generous but easy-to-manage dwelling for a couple to occupy as they reach old age, allowing them to stay on their land but to pass on the main house to their children.

Within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the project successfully received planning permission despite its location outside the village envelope, due to the careful design and consideration of the landscape. Its informal and idiosyncratic range of pitched and barrel-vaulted roof profiles draws on the form of the barns it replaces. The house sits along the hedge line with no garden, borrowing the field landscape as its open space, allowing sheep to graze right up to the windows.

The materials were chosen to weather into a muted, modest relationship with their surroundings. The copper roofing has patinated to the dark brown it takes outside areas of air pollution, and we learnt from how traditional Finnish buildings detail their copper roofing to create elegant gutters and junctions.

Cedar cladding from just over the border in Wales, rough sawn and stained black, wraps the building, ending at a concrete plinth which forms a solid base where the building meets the grass.

Internally, the curved glulam timber beams are exposed, to give rhythm and scale to the living spaces.