La Frêne

Award-Winning Barn Conversion

La Frêne was the winner of the Guernsey Design Awards 'Small projects Category' in 2016. It incorporates contemporary construction methods and technologies into the conversion of a traditional Guernsey barn informed by a natural material pallet.

Our client’s brief was to create a two-bedroom home that met her needs, combining the charm and character of a smaller traditional cottage with all the practical convenience expected of a modern house. A low-maintenance, high-performance building offering a variation of spaces and maximising orientation and privacy from the surrounding dwellings.

The design features more intimate and private spaces arranged around an open-plan living area, coordinated with the structural restrictions of the existing building, its position on the site, and providing a generous visual and physical connection to the enclosed southwest-facing garden.

A variety of natural materials have been used, from the locally fabricated and exposed oak roof structure to the reclaimed Welsh purple slate that wraps over it. An untreated Siberian larch cladding has weathered to provide a soft natural tone against the limed pointed granite and in contrast to the clean oil finish of the internal oak joinery.

Tumbled travertine and reclaimed cobbles line the recycled glass heated floor whilst the reclaimed brick and granite has been media blasted to reveal its vibrant colour variation. It provides a visual contrast between the original structure and the new lining that sits within maximising every pocket of useable space.

The house focuses heavily on sustainable technologies, high thermal performance, low energy use, and a mix of locally reclaimed materials. Most importantly, it provided our client with a building that directly addressed her requirements in later life and therefore quickly became her home.



Testimonials For La Frêne