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“The Cow Shed” Cotswolds

April 16, 2024

By Design Storey Architects

A listed barn in the Cotswolds is sensitively converted, using a restrained material palette and light touch design approach, to create a unique two-bedroomed home.

The barn comprised of a single-storey cowshed and a two-storey bull-pen with hayloft above, these two elements of the building were not linked internally and were located on different levels. Our design concept involved sensitively uniting both sides of the barn by inserting a timber pod structure into the fabric of the listed building.

The new pod, mitigated the level change and acted as a divider division between the bedrooms and bathrooms as well as housing the new staircase to the first floor.  We had to work hard with the limited space in the two-storey element of the barn, tucking in the master ensuite bathroom in under the eaves and suspending a shower over the stair, creating compact but characterful spaces.

One interesting construction challenge was the necessity to “lift” the front elevation of the single-storey  structure to create an entrance into the barn. We believed there were formerly pad stones located along the front of the barn, which had since been removed, causing the front of the barn to drop. We were onsite to observe the contractor ‘righting’ the trusses to set them in their original position and recorded the ’jacking up” of the roof structure in a time-lapse video.

We proposed replacing the missing pad stones, and repairing the bases of the historic elm posts, to reinstate the historic appearance of the barn. This process involved a close and successful collaboration between ourselves, acting as heritage consultants, the structural engineer and conservation officer.

The original barn had many historic features including the roof structure, stone walls and original openings which have been retained and repaired as part of the project, creating a characterful and individual home.

Client view

“Design Storey helped us convert an old Cotswolds cowshed into our dream home. From planning the space together, dealing with conservation issues through to appointing builders and overseeing the project, they held our hands each step of the way. We now have a beautiful, bespoke home in the heart of the Cotswolds thanks to Design Storey”


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