Heatherton Park

Heatherton Park

Somerset, United Kingdom | View Map
Project Year
Art Galleries
Nick Dearden

Heatherton Park

Thread as Architects

The conversion and reinvention of a 1950s agricultural steel framed barn to a contemporary and highly sustainable home and fine art and architectural studios and workshops. Achieved while retaining the original structure and material and proportional aesthetic.


Who are the clients and what's interesting about them?

The client is a fine art restorer who restores and conserves fine art from private collections and galleries. His skills and interests complemented the conservation and protection of a steel frame to provide a home for both him and the art works while they were undergoing conservation.


What were the solutions?

To keep the design work and material specifications as simple as possible, with reduced materials and a refined aesthetic that let the art works sing, and allow those who work with the building space, light and warmth.


What was the brief?

The brief was to keep it simple, with minimal materials and processes, but to turn this ugly ducking into something special.


What were the key challenges?

Planning Permission took 5 years as it is in the open countryside and was an unusual prospect - not supported by any planning legislation. The reuse of a tired steel structure with the modern levels of insulation and the insertion of a new first floor - without the wholesale replacement of the original steel frame. The client also wished for the project to include as many sustainable technologies as would complement the project.


What are the sustainability features?

The project integrates ground source heating, rainwater collection for a green water system, triple glazing and high levels of insulation which wrap the building beneath the black cladding, over the retained original (and quite rusty) structure.  All the structure is protected with thermal breaks to reduce cold bridging and cold spots.


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