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Our award-winning home

PUBLISHED: 09:31 22 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:04 22 October 2010

Holly Barn, in Reedham.

Holly Barn, in Reedham.

CAROLINE CULOT

You could certainly call it a Grand Design. This stunning home is environmentally-friendly, uses all the latest mod cons and yet blends in with the timeless Broadland landscape, and is specially adapted for wheelchair use.

The barn blends in with the Broads landscape and yet has all mod cons inside.

You could certainly call it a Grand Design.

This stunning home is environmentally-friendly, uses all the latest mod cons and yet blends in with the timeless Broadland landscape, and is specially adapted for wheelchair use.

As a result, Holly Barn, in Reedham, between Lowestoft and Yarmouth, has clinched a major award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA.)

The new barn, designed by London-based Knox Bhavan Architects, was selected as an East of England winner, along with Girton College library in Cambridge, because the house “is fresh in detail, with well-integrated special access features for its disabled owner.”

Owners Alan and Jenny Rogers had the house built after finding their cottage in Reedham did not cater for their needs and found the wonderful site housing a 200-year-old barn, thought to be one of the oldest buildings in the village.

Mr Rogers said: “Unfortunately the barn was falling down and couldn't be restored but we were very keen to make our new house reflect the old barn that stood there.

“It is clad in wood so looks like a barn and also looks a bit like the boatsheds and even an upturned boat which are part of the Broadland landscape.”

However, the house also provides wheelchair access throughout for Mr Rogers, who has arthritis. The house, which was featured in last week's EDP Sunday, has flat thresholds, a lift to the first floor and includes curves throughout that are the turning circle of his wheelchair. It also has three bathrooms which are all accessible to wheelchairs.

It is also environmentally friendly, being clad in wood, and has a computer-controlled heating system so it uses the minimum amount required as well as lots of glass panelling to reflect heat and light.

Mr Rogers said: “We love living here, it is fantastic and I see it as a house which will stay in our family for many years, somewhere for the children and the grandchildren to come.”

Simon Knox, the architect who designed the house together with Mary-Lou Arscott of Knox Bhavan Architects, said it had been important that it blended in with the surrounding scenery. “The aim was to make it part of the horizontal landscape so we designed it upside-down, with the sitting room and kitchen on the first floor so they have panoramic views across the countryside. Then there are four bedrooms and a playroom on the ground floor.

“We also used greyish-brown cladding tones to reflect the colour of the reed beds, we had a sensitive approach to designing in such a beautiful area.”

The building, measuring 27m by 6m, was built in a year and cost more than £500,000.

The awards are to be presented tomorrow at a dinner at London's Hilton Hotel for Architecture Week 2006.

Holly Barn was one of two East of England winners from 14 shortlisted buildings.

t Tours of Holly Barn are being held on Saturday from 10am-noon. For more information, contact Simon Knox or Mary-Lou Arscott at Knox Bhavan architects on 0207 701 3108. For more information visit www.architectureweek.org.uk


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