William Green Architects Pump House Barns exterior 1

Pump House Barns

Our clients want to make use of under-utilised farm buildings on their site in rural Oxfordshire and generate an additional income stream. We created this concept to convert the barns into flexible office space. The rural economy is healthy and demand for high-quality, rural offices is growing.

Although hidden away in the countryside, the site has good road access and plenty of space for parking. In total, the barns cover 726 square metres. The challenge is to make them attractive and suitable for commercial tenants − more than simply functional.

Scraping away part of the sloping site to the side of the barns will create a large level parking area. A covered, external corridor connects the car park to each barn and to a terrace with countryside views that makes a perfect place for tenants, their staff and visitors to meet outdoors or enjoy lunch.

We’ve chosen a simple palette of materials. Each barn is clad in timber that will weather and soften with age. This creates a sense of place and a connection to the landscape. To provide visual interest, a rigorous rhythm of timber fins breaks up the elevation and continues round to the covered corridor. The roofs are designed so they could house photovoltaic panels in the future to provide a renewable energy source.

The frame of each barn is structurally sound and allowed us to create large, open spaces inside. This means the office space can be open plan for a single tenant, or divided into smaller spaces for multiple tenants.

Sliding doors set into the timber cladding open to reveal floor-to-ceiling glazing that floods the space with natural light. Roof lights bring yet more light to central areas including coffee stations, receptions and circulation hubs.

In the largest barn a mezzanine floor takes advantage of the roof height and gives west-facing views across the valley. Glass balustrading visually integrates the mezzanine with the ground floor.

  • Location:  Oxfordshire
  • Construction Cost:  £TBC

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