North Hall

“Courtyard Cloister” – significant extension and conversion of redundant agricultural buildings to create a large fully accessible five bedroom family home.

A home with “wow” factor was the brief for this project for a client who owned a group of redundant agricultural buildings. Through a detailed briefing process, we were able to establish that the client would require approximately 25% additional new floor area to the existing buildings. The idea of adding a “cloister” to the existing buildings solved the conversion problem of narrow footprints to the existing cow-shed buildings. It also provided a seamless link to a new building whilst wrapping around a new internal courtyard.

Transparency of the cloister was essential and using a large pane size sliding glazing system with minimal 22mm mullions framing was key to this allow for the buildings to open up to the courtyard and wider countryside landscape beyond.

The courtyard itself was designed so that in “party mode” it could be covered with a fabric canopy structure tethered to the building that would double the footprint of the building for the special event. A provision was also made in the structural design to allow for a swimming pool and for the internal configuration to change as part of future proofing the building.

Detailed landscaping proposals were developed to provide increased privacy to the users and expand the indigenous species of planting and wildlife.

Thermal modelling has demonstrated how high insulation levels, passive solar gains and integral photovoltaics combined with renewable heat sources (biomass/ground source heat pump) ensures the building is able to generate significantly more annual energy than it is likely to consume.


Briefing – careful understanding of clients requirements indicated that the existing building footprint would have to be significantly increased.

Working with the existing configuration – evolution of farm buildings.

Cloister Structure – minimally framed glazing to give transparency across the courtyard and reveal the existing structure.

Party Mode – courtyard was designed to allow a canvas canopy to be connected to the cloister structure erected to cover the entrance.

Extensive Consultant Team – Structural Engineer, Environmental (M+E) Engineer, Historic Building Consultant

Future Proofing – buildings and spaces have been designed to allow for more than one use – similar to the agricultural barn which can be subdivided and altered as required.