The Merchants House

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  • The restoration of the Grade II Listed Home Farm Barn, West Littleton, Near Bath and the intervention of a Pod Gallery into the Barn space.

The client wanted to restore Home Farm Barn to its full glory and remove past interventions within it, which serve to domesticate what is a bold historic structure.

A space was required within the Barn, which is warm, dry, light and airtight, and that can be used to house a personal collection of watercolour paintings.

Stonewood Design have created an intervention in the Barn which is conceived as a “Pod Gallery.” Full height glazing is provided to the gable of the Pod Gallery which faces the Barn. In this way, the full splendour of the Barn is revealed from the comfort of the Pod Gallery.

The Pod Gallery is constructed as a rigid lightweight timber diaphragm structure, clad in timber on the inside and the outside. It is in essence a piece of finely-crafted internal furniture or joinery, sheltered from the elements by the Barn itself.

The soft warm qualities of the timber Pod Gallery contrast with the hard cold structure of the stone Barn. Architects: Stonewood Design
    November 19, 2015
    Pod Gallery – Existing Building Highly Commended Location: South Gloucestershire Architect: Stonewood Design Structural Engineer: Structurelle Main Contactor/Builder: Stonewood Builders Joinery Company: Oakwrights Wood Supplier: Dinesen (Flooring) Wood Species: Oak, Birch Plywood, Marine Plywood, Softwood The client wished to restore the Grade II listed Home Farm Barn to its full glory and remove past interventions within which […]

Project Title:
The Merchants House
Location: Shepton Mallet

Project Description

The Project

To conserve and restore a derelict 17th century merchants house into a comfortable family home with minimal maintenance and running costs for the foreseeable future thus ensuring ongoing prospects for the building.

To bring it back to life using traditional materials and skills but also incorporating modern technology making it both versatile and economic in its use.

Conserve as much of the original fabric as possible restoring where appropriate.

Assess the environmental considerations of all decisions made during the project.

Let the building dictate from its important features what layout should be adopted.

And embrace a minimum intervention philosophy throughout.

The completed project has embraced all of our aims and goals at the outset and more.

By utilising traditional crafts, correctly specified building materials and conservation repair techniques, the repair and conservation has been a great success.

Thorough lasting repairs to the structure and cosmetic elements have been undertaken successfully.  And the original inbuilt structural defects have also been re-engineered to ensure future long term viability of the building.

The inclusion of a 15kw borehole ground source heat pump system, a private borehole water well and an energy efficient lighting system will also keep utility costs to a minimum.

The comprehensive repair program to the original timberwork was a great success visually and structurally. It incorporates many repairs to structural members which had failed due to rot and overloading. Restoration of winder stairs where missing or damaged, new hand fashioned splat balusters and turned finials. Clench nailed doors hung on handwrought hinges internally and externally.

Conservation of original oak flooring alongside installation of mainly new oak boards over under-floor heating. Conservation of window cills and replacement of the missing majority with hand profiled oak to match existing.

Masonry repair to fireplaces, windows, doorways, rubblestone walling and repaired cellar vaults all blend in with the existing fabric seamlessly.

After a major engineering feat to build a culvert around 3 sides of the building now the cellars are dry useable space no longer flooding.

All scrap wood was recycled as fuel on site, hardcore was re-used within half a mile from site, metal and cardboard recycled. There was a balance of waste which could not be recycled which was small enough to go into the household refuse. And of course we have re-used the building and included modern energy efficient technology.
Melding new technology and ancient fabric has been successful.

The building is now again a jewel having uplifted the area, highlighting its vernacular beauty in a town setting and leading the way for others.