Carl Turner renovated an existing 150-year old barn into a clean-lined getaway in the Norfolk countryside, and built a modern outbuilding on the property.

The Ochre Barn’s exterior remained intact, complete with weathered red brick walls.

Not a bad view from inside to out. Oriented strand board is a major material feature throughout the Ochre Barn.

OSB even makes its way into the showers.

White walls provide a pleasant visual contrast between the existing bricks and exposed ceiling beams.

The largely open-plan style of the home is strategically separated by OSB.

And OSB also provides ample places to take a seat and relax for a while.

Obligatory Eames side-chair rocker!

Lots of cozy nooks to be found in the Ochre Barn.

A nice, no-fuss bedroom with some niches for knicks and knacks.


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An Old Barn Gets New Life As A Modernist Hideaway

Carl Turner Architects turned a 150-year-old structure into a modern, open-plan residence—but you’d never know from the exterior.

Let’s say it’s a lovely fall afternoon. You’re wandering through the beautiful British countryside in Norfolk—as you are wont to do in this scenario—and spot the Ochre Barn. From the outside, you note, its weathered, red brick walls suggest a structure that’s seen centuries of seasons come and go. You are very perceptive—and completely right—but the space within tells an entirely different story. When London-based Carl Turner (of his eponymous architecture firm) bought the 150-year-old property he left the facade intact, and set about renovating the interior to accommodate a stunning, spare, largely open-plan residence.

In order to stay true to its history, Turner treated the exterior as if it were listed (in Britain, listed buildings may not be altered in any way without express permission from the local planning council). Exposed ceiling beams and crisp white walls were given prominence throughout the inside, but perhaps the most striking design decision was the liberal use of oriented strand board (OSB); the modest material’s variegation gives a slightly raw, comfortably unfinished feel to the place, separating the domestic areas and providing a unique visual coherency from room to room. Adjacent to the main house, Turner erected a smaller unit to act as guest rental or studio. Considering the surroundings, seems like a good bet he can get some happy part-time lodgers, no sweat. For more info on the project, Iain Aitch wrote a nice profile of the Ochre Barn over at Dwell.

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  • Jim Ulle

    This is awesome... I love converted barns as homes, offices, etc. Saving these unique architectural landmarks while updating them for modern occupancy (and often modern tastes). Its beautiful.