Eyes of an Architect: Tour this converted mini barn in London


Step inside this effortlessly cool single-storey mini barn in London, that sits between a row of terraced houses. It was remodelled by Robert Wilson from Granit Architects and here he talks through this latest project, which has simple style and plenty of soul...

What was your brief from the owners here? ‘The house was rather small and tatty but it had great garden. The single-storey mini barn has a steep roof, accessed on foot by a narrow alley between two terraced houses. The owners wanted to refurbish the house and increase the space, to replace the leaking conservatory and design a more ergonomic living room in particular. It was mostly about making best use of the site and the garden.’

What materials did you have the play with? 'Brick and render, with a wonderful floor of reclaimed slate. The owners wanted to keep the cottage feel and have exposed materials as well as clean practical space.'

Where did you start? 'We extended to the side adding a part double-height living room with one wall opening to the garden, with unique industrial-style sliding and folding doors. We added a studio for the owner's design business with the drawing board set up in front of a huge window. A new staircase leads up to the loft bedroom that's galleried into the living room. The new space achieved via the extension also allowed for an upstairs bathroom.'

If there’s one top tip you can give as a result of this project what would it be? ‘Let the architect have an open brief and explore the best options. If we had just replaced the conservatory it would not have had the same spacious results.’

Is there anything you think works particularly well? 'The relationship between the house and the garden with corner windows and lots of light - with a view from the bedroom too. The kitchen area is a particularly social space now.’


What’s your favourite feature? ‘The pergola outside the new doors, which features wires on metal brackets. The stair and the floors look great too and the owners are delighted with the results.'

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Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor