Stealth Barn is a new project by London-based studio Carl Turner Architects that was constructed near one of their other modern projects – the Ochre Barn – and complement the simple residential brick construction it stands by. The Norfolk countryside was the perfect place to experiment with the construction of two equally interesting projects and we will concentrate on the Stealth Barn, which was designed to be used either as a guest house, studio or meeting place. “Stealth Barn pays respect to the form of the agricultural context but contrasts with the traditional barn.
Stealth Barn is a sharp black mass – a shadow of the adjacent barn or a silhouette on the horizon. It is a robust exterior wrapped with a restricted palette, devoid of fussy detail, and formed to withstand its exposed position.” Interiors were dressed in OSB, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere reminiscent of old barns divided by straw bales. Compartmentalized interiors were given the chance to visually connect to the surrounding landscape through carefully placed windows. Pocket-like spaces convey the idea of a semi-open, welcoming space that can easily be used as a bedroom, dining space, office zone and meeting room without interfering with one another.
The best architects can create designs which will give clients and the public things they didn’t even realise they wanted, and this is especially important when architects are given the difficult brief of creating structures in much-loved, iconic areas.
Energy during the construction process was saved by using FSC-certified glulam timber instead of steel to create the building’s distinctive wavy roof, while the store’s external walls use hemclad, a highly innovative insulator made from hemp, which, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. An 80,000 litre water tank below ground provides water for the store’s toilets and waters the site’s green wall’, which provides natural insulation, acts as an all-natural pollution filter near the car park, and helps to encourage biodiversity. The result is a building that uses a fraction of the energy of structures of a similar size, and is still very popular with local shoppers.