An Agricultural Barn Converted Into A Modern Art Studio

It’s not every day we come across a simple rural barn filled with beautiful sculptures and artwork so today we’re excited to check out a very special project completed in 2021 by architect Thomas Randall-Page. It’s called The Art Barn and it’s located in Dartmoor, a rural area in the United Kingdom. The main idea behind it was to take a very basic agricultural barn and to transform it into a studio with an archive and a space to store large sculptures in. 

From the outside the barn looks very simple and modestFrom the outside the barn looks very simple and modestThe design preserves some of the original charm of the barn but also adds a modern vibe to itThe design preserves some of the original charms of the barn but also adds a modern vibe to it

When you look at it from the outside the barn doesn’t really stand out much and that was actually the idea behind its design. It was meant to have a utilitarian aesthetic and to resemble a hermetically sealed box. In order to make that happen the architect clad the barn in vertical wood boards from top to bottom, with a few sections where a galvanized steel skin can also be seen. This helps to create a smooth transition between textures and to allow the barn to fit into the landscape more seamlessly. 

When the large shutters are closed the barn becomes a large sealed boxWhen the large shutters are closed the barn becomes a large sealed box

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For the interior of the barn, the plan was to create three distinct areas with specific functions. One was meant to be an archive which had to be well-insulated, airtight and to maintain a specific humidity level. Another area would be a space where sculptures and artwork can be stored and displayed and the third area would function as an art studio. The last two areas needed to be filled with natural light and to enjoy a close connection to the exterior so in order to make that possible the architect included a series of large industrial shutters that blend in perfectly with the wooden exterior cladding of the barn. 

The shutters and doors are perfectly camouflaged and can barely be noticed from the outsideThe shutters and doors are perfectly camouflaged and can barely be noticed from the outside
It was important for some of the areas within the barn to receive lots of natural sunlightIt was important for some of the areas within the barn to receive lots of natural sunlightLocally-sourced stone was used for the interior design as a way to bring the outdoors inLocally-sourced stone was used for the interior design as a way to bring the outdoors inThis gallery space also has a large skylight which brings in additional lightThis gallery space also has a large skylight which brings in additional lightThe interior walls are intentionally left very simple in order to allow the focus to be on the artworkThe interior walls are intentionally left very simple in order to allow the focus to be on the artworkA small sunken seating area was cleverly incorporated underneath the studioA small sunken seating area was cleverly incorporated underneath the studioThe design chosen for the studio is very simple, pure and genuineThe design chosen for the studio is very simple, pure and genuineAlthough it's very simple, the art barn fits well within the modern vernacular of the areaAlthough it’s very simple, the art barn fits well within the modern vernacular of the area

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