Light and Spacious Design

Light and Spacious Design

Timber frame specialists Carpenter Oak inspire with a striking and unusual design, which utilises the tactile and aesthetic properties of green oak in a contemporary manner.

Located in the heart of the Dartmoor National Park and set within 60 acres of woodland and meadow, an 18th Century granite farmhouse and associated barns grouped loosely together to form West Yard Farm. In a dilapidated state, the owners wanted to turn the farmhouse and barns into a large, modern family home with annex space for flexible use.

For the overall design of the house, the owners chose van Ellen + Sheryn architects, who approached Carpenter Oak for the oak frame aspect, with builder Richard Goulden from Goulden & Sons finishing the property to the highest specifications.

The milking parlour to the west of the group was to provide the annex accommodation required. The brick and stone building was bisected, and a glass and green-oak framed structure replaced the southern half of the building.

Architect Eilir Sheryn worked with Carpenter Oak Ltd frame designer Paul Slemmings to conceive a light and spacious barn-like structure, with glazing on all sides and dramatic flying trusses. Finely cut square profiles were used in combination with steel connectors and tie rods, supplied by Hercules. The truss design was an unusual but striking configuration taking its cues from a traditional scissor braced truss.

The central collar is formed with an inverted ‘V’ of green oak, and then tied back to the main truss members with stainless steel rods. These tie rods reduce the perceived mass of the frame at high level. The open roof space combined with the extensive glazing allows light to flood in.

To best compliment the massive stone and brick walls of the barn, a key aspect of the design was to maintain a strong physical aesthetic for the frame. The timber columns were doubled up with a small shadow gap between, to create an attractive rhythm.

The frame could undoubtedly have been achieved with single posts, and with perhaps one or two fewer bays over the length of the space. In this respect, beauty over efficiency was perhaps deemed more important, as the strength and rhythm of the frame as it extends away from the stone barn was so important to its success.

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