TYPE converts an old stone barn into a family home in rural devon

TYPE converts an old stone barn into a family home in rural devon

a sensitive conversion


a dilapidated stone barn in devon, england, has been transformed into a sustainable, contemporary family home by london-based architecture practice TYPE. called ‘redhill barn’, the conversion forms part of a long-term project developed by the clients and the architect to regenerate and rewild the 25-acre rural site. 


redhill barn dates back to 1810 and it was originally used as a threshing barn and cow byre on a large farming estate. when TYPE approached the project, the structure was in a state of disrepair with a collapsed roof and overgrown stone walls. the design team sought to renew the agricultural building while preserving its character. TYPE’s concept was ‘to create a new home within the reconstructed barn, rather than convert the barn into a house.’

TYPE redhill barn
images © rory gardiner



a rigorous approach to craft


from the outside, TYPE‘s recent intervention is minimal. the architects retained the old stone walls without adding any new openings. new windows and doors are recessed back and framed in warm timber, and a pivot door invites residents inside. the roof has been replaced with corrugated aluminum sheeting but in a simple hipped profile to echo the old roof, and gutterless eaves to reference the building’s past agricultural function.


inside, the 199 sqm program is organized around the stone columns. the first floor comprises two bedrooms, a bathroom and kitchen in a cellular arrangement that makes use of a series of arched doorways. upstairs hosts the main social space of the house in a generous airy space. floating boxes clad in english sycamore create discrete spaces for a study and shower room that bookend the main space. both floors are laid with new wooden floors and crowned with exposed timber structures, which TYPE designed to evoke the rhythm and beauty of traditional barn structures. all the wood is douglas fir sourced from the UK.

TYPE redhill barn
plans to rewild the site include a new kitchen garden, a traditional orchard and a series of wildflower meadows



the project was managed by TYPE as a self-build, meaning the design team could have greater control over each and every detail of the conversion. TYPE director, tom powell, even moved to the site with his partner to lead the build over its 5-year construction.


‘redhill barn has afforded us the unique opportunity of leading the design and construction of one of our projects,’  says powell. ‘the project reflects the ethos of our practice and our holistic approach, which includes working with the landscape, building, interiors and furniture design, and takes into account all details, from how individual stones are placed to how the door handles are shaped. going beyond the traditional role of the architect allowed us to achieve a satisfaction in how things are detailed and put together on site, which was as much a result of physically building as it was from drawing.’

TYPE redhill barn
the old stone walls were preserved



the next stage of the project is to turn redhill barn into the hub of a new ecological smallholding. the greater landscape strategy includes plans for a new kitchen garden, traditional orchard and series of wildflower meadows, interspersed with wild margins, hedgebanks and areas of copse and scrub. permission has also been granted for ground-mounted photovoltaics to provide green energy alongside the dwelling’s air-source heat pump.


‘now that redhill barn is complete, we are focusing on the farmland it sits within and it originally served, which is typical of the devonshire countryside,’  say commissioning clients, richard and dawn. ‘putting ‘wildlife first’ is the driving ethos: we recognize the need to balance stewardship of the landscape with low impact regeneration, creating new habitats which will reverse the decline of our seriously beleaguered wildlife so badly hit by modern farming methods.’ 

TYPE redhill barn
a pivot door occupies one of the wide openings that were originally made for cattle

TYPE redhill barn
the program is organized around the internal stone columns

TYPE converts an old stone barn into a family home in rural devon
stairs lead to an airy upper floor

TYPE converts an old stone barn into a family home in rural devon
the exposed timber roof crowns the second floor




TYPE converts an old stone barn into a family home in rural devon
TYPE converts an old stone barn into a family home in rural devon

project info:


name: redhill barn

location: south devon, UK

architect: TYPE

photography: rory gardiner





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