bureau de change combines interlocking barn volumes for house in rural england

bureau de change combines interlocking barn volumes for house in rural england

london-based architecture studio bureau de change has reinterpreted the rural vernacular of cotswolds, south central england, to create the long house, a residence comprising interlocking barn forms and a palette of local materials. paying close attention to the area’s historic building practices and approaches, the studio has combined dry stone, natural and charred larch for the building’s exterior, envisaging a slow process of weathering and age that will further embed the new home into its surroundings.

 bureau de change combines interlocking barn volumes for house in rural englandall images by gilbert mccarragher



drawing from the site’s former use, bureau de change has developed the long house as a reinterpretation of traditional rural structures. ‘we took the elongated forms of two 30 meter-long, timber chicken sheds as the starting point for the new design,’ explains billy mavropoulos, co-founder of the studio. ‘the house then became a play of traditional barn volumes which have been pushed and pulled to suit the needs of the client.’ the front volume has been cut in two to accommodate an internal patio behind the main elevation, while the back volume is extruded to double height, creating a point of interest where the two barns interlock and are pushed into one another.

 bureau de change combines interlocking barn volumes for house in rural england



a building within a building at the far end of the front barn encloses a studio for the artist owner, while part of the second volume has been ‘broken off’, forming an annex adjacent to the main house. key interior spaces have been developed around the patio, which, clad in glazed ceramic tiles, acts s a focal point for the home and invites nature and light within the project.



materially, the house has been built with close attention to local historic building practices, generating a language which both revives and reinterprets the vernacular. ‘the front barn has been built in dry stone wall by a local craftsman, chosen not only for its local relevance but for its inherent qualities of mass and muscularity,’ notes co-founder katerina dionysopoulou. ‘this façade is monolithic, with fewer openings to produce a heavier, solid volume at the front. as a counterpoint, the taller barn at the back is clad in a lighter-weight natural larch which has been charred to a deep leathery black at each window recess. this charring has then been brushed away to gently blend it into the natural larch – creating an ombré effect which emphasises the rhythmic push and pull of the window indentations.’ construction meets passive house principles with an insulated concrete formwork system creating a thermal envelope, limited openings on the south-facing façade, triple glazed window units and a heat recovery ventilation system to maintain air quality year-round.

 bureau de change combines interlocking barn volumes for house in rural england

project info:


name: long house

architect: bureau de change architects

location: cotswolds, UK

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    502,400 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample