Brook House Studio

Part of a phased development, facilitated by a unique planning approval process, to allow the clients to continue to live and work as artists on the site where they have been since 1979.

The over-riding brief for the project was to create spaces that were “Light and Warm” which required substantial building works to the barn and adjoining annexe. These included removing the existing lean-to buildings to the North and East sides in order to provide a single new larger “offset” extension to the South side of the building.

It was also necessary to open up the whole volume of the barn building and by working with Price & Myers structural engineers it was possible to develop a “stressed skin” roof construction that allowed open gables with no eaves restraint or ties along the building’s entire length. At the time of construction, it was one of the largest stressed skin roofs in the country.

As part of the design, the building was environmentally modelled by RYKB to assess the performance in relation to insulation levels, passive heating, underfloor heating, passive ventilation and the requirements of biomass and solar thermal heating. These technologies have been invisibly integrated and at completion, the building achieved an “A” rating which indicates that it generates less than 15% of the annual CO2 emissions compared to an average household.

In overall terms and through the use of internal sliding screens the result is a series of flexibly interconnected spaces that enable the blurred aspects of living and working as artists to exist in a building that is light, warm and sustainable.


Scope Of Works – reconfiguration of existing Sussex farmstead to provide a new live/work planning unit including the comprehensive conversion, extension and rebuild of an existing Sussex barn building. BRIEF – “To be Warm and Light”

Masterplan / Development Plan – complex briefing to determine if the site and buildings were suitable for the clients’ future needs

Planning Precedent – working with planning consultant to enable work the local authority to secure permission for extensive reconfiguration and new build works

Project Team – importance of team to develop a fully understood building

Conversion & New Build – historic building

Contemporary Structure – incredibly large stressed skin ply roof

Self-Build / Project Management Process – heavy on-site presence managing subcontractors, sequencing the works and ensuring workmanship quality was upheld.

Renewables – biomass, solar thermal, high levels of insulation