House for a Farmer, Co. Antrim

Value: Undisclosed

Client: Private

Status: Planning

Use: Single Residential Dwelling


In 2012 JAA were appointed for our first project, to design a new family home for a young farmer. The site was a new green field plot to the rear of the old family farmstead, and it is this existing agricultural setting which dictated the form of the new building.

The brief was for an expansive family home, but the tight planning restraints dictated a traditional look and feel.

The design proposals therefore looked to subdivide the client’s requirement for a large, traditional farmhouse into three smaller units, mimicking the traditional nineteenth stone outhouses within the farm yard. This provided all necessarily accommodation of the traditional farm house but in three smaller-scale ‘barns’; a living barn, an entertaining barn, and a machinery barn.

The three barns are sited in keeping with the existing site contours at differing levels, giving a variation across the roof ridge lines and an organic feel within the landscape. The barns were orientated to take advantage of the site’s daylight and prevailing winds on the exposed site and windows and openings were similarly minimized to the cold north yet elsewhere were carefully positioned and sized to purposefully frame views, such as the 150 year sycamore tree to the south of the living barn.

The trio of barns are connected by fully glazed links to look invisible by day and to glow at night, and to allow the three volumes to read as separate entities. Dark grey-blue brick was selected to reference the existing stone outhouses in the farmyard enroute to the new house. The format of the windows were similarly taken from the old stone outhouses and black concrete surrounds were added to give the new house a contemporary but honest simplicity.