Black carbon barn

A dark new addition in the form of this low carbon black barn has recently been completed by the practice to complement an existing Victorian Fen-town house in Cambridgeshire.

Barely glimpsed through the gates of Primrose Cottage, opposite St Mary & All Saints Church graveyard, this new building replaces and takes its profile from a former stone mason’s yard and wood store to create a new home gym/studio with its own laundry and wet room. Also included within the building is a secure store for garden tools, bikes and other domestic paraphernalia, doubling also as a potting shed and mini workshop.

Boundary walls are a smooth-faced black brick/black mortar cavity wall, with the garden facing timber framed wall clad with charred oak. The roof structure uses exposed oak trusses, with stainless steel connections and tension bar system.

A wide board hand finished black oak board was used for the studio floor and internal door facing, and other details include a utility/laundry room, a recessed pocket door to the wet room, climate controlled roof-lights and a flat floor walk in shower.

A low carbon approach with on site generation of power from renewables was considered from the outset, with 13 in-roof flush-mounted solar photovoltaic panels installed to the rear, west facing, roof elevation. This connects to the grid via the domestic consumer unit and a fully integrated coupled battery storage system in the cellar of the main house. The PV system also provides power for an EV charging point.

The building has been designed to accommodate its current use as mentioned above but also to be able to be used as a self contained studio apartment if the need arises in the future.


Gavin Langford Architects

Structural Engineer:

Andrew Firebrace Partnership

Building Services & Environmental Engineering Consultant:

OR Consulting Engineers

Main Contractor: 

Langdon Construction 

Sub Contractors:

Cambridge Solar

Coach House Joinery

All photographs copyright © 2021 Nick Guttridge http://www.nickguttridge.com