ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwidethe world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

h

Nominate now the Building of the Year 2017 »

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Houses
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Invisible Studio
  6. Starfall Farm

Starfall Farm

  • 01:00 - 27 June, 2012
Starfall Farm
Starfall Farm, Courtesy of Invisible Studio
Courtesy of Invisible Studio

Courtesy of Invisible Studio Courtesy of Invisible Studio Courtesy of Invisible Studio Courtesy of Invisible Studio +27

From the architect. Alterations and additions to a hideously extended, but originally very pretty farmhouse in St Catherine’s valley for Xa Sturgis and Anna Benn who were the most fantastic clients. The extension used in part materials from the demolished barns, and the cladding was designed to conceal the proportions of the existing extension while pull apart on the new bit to reveal key views into landscape. It is a very modest, very vernaculary thing really, and surprising that it generated a great of interest. I was rather embarrassed doing this for Xa at the same time as Eric Parry was doing the Holburne for him, with a budget something like 20 times the cost per m2.

Courtesy of Invisible Studio
Courtesy of Invisible Studio

At the time, I was rather obsessed by the rawness in Sandy Wilson’s Scroope Terrace extension in Cambridge in which I was working – I love all the concrete benches and so on in that building. Starfall has a very simple asymmetric section that allows the morning light to penetrate deep into the building and flood it with light. For me, the project was also a way of reconciling all the thermal deficiencies of Moonshine, which is far too lightweight – Starfall is ruthlessly thermally massive, and with it incredibly efficient. 

Courtesy of Invisible Studio
Courtesy of Invisible Studio

The key detail is the timber cladding which is designed to conceal the (awkward) proportions of the openings of the astonishingly ugly rear extension which the client deemed must stay given the cost of demolition just to rebuild the equivalent volume. The project had a limited budget, and the most conservative planning committee (Bath) in the UK.

Courtesy of Invisible Studio
Courtesy of Invisible Studio

The strategy was to find a material language – the cladding - that allowed the ugliness of the existing building to be masked and concealed, whilst also wrapping seamlessly round a new extension. The intention also was to do a building that performs really well, so is economical in how and where openings are placed. For example, there’s complete transparency where you cook, with sliding glass screens that disappear into the walls allowing a sense of the valley side to run through the site and allow you to feel as if you are cooking outside (as at moonshine) but then other openings are more selective: a corner window above an insitu concrete bench for reading Sunday papers, a slot window above the bath to allow glimpses of a wild flower bank, rooflights on the east side to allow morning light into the heart of the building as early as possible (hence asymmetric pitch) with the profile of the new extension designed to allow maximum light to penetrate into a contained herb courtyard etc… The thermal mass is ruthlessly exposed internally: concrete floor, bare plastered concrete block walls, concrete kitchen and other built in benches and superinsulated around this…

Courtesy of Invisible Studio
Courtesy of Invisible Studio

The external cladding was designed to be able to conceal the proportions of the existing openings (ie a board that could run passed the existing opening) and to allow privacy where necessary, but then seamlessly wrap also around the extension to integrate the new with the existing. The entire extension was raised up 5 steps to allow views over the garden wall to the valley, and also to ‘command’ the public lane outside (ie look down on to it). Pretty much all the finishes are self finished: larch with no capping, reused clay tiles from existing buildings on the site (which we were told that unless we used them we wouldn’t get planning having been refused three times), exposed concrete, shuttering ply joinery, bare plaster, etc.

Plan
Plan

The house has been beautifully occupied by the clients – I love the loose and inventive way that they live there – and how un precious and controlling they are – their abundant spirit bursts out of it.

Cite: "Starfall Farm" 27 Jun 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/248237/starfall-farm-invisible-studio/>
Read comments

34 Comments

faith diane · December 04, 2012

I really like the farmhouse interior design, the location seems solemn and its environmental friendliness.

... · August 24, 2012

Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio | ArchDaily http://t.co/bBrSFD2e via @archdaily

CircleWestArchitects · August 15, 2012

Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio | ArchDaily http://t.co/UAPhXB10 via @archdaily #architecture #design

starfallzone · August 04, 2012

Truly amazing, I really love starfall farm. love the design and place. totally awesome.

anar-CHIE-tecture · July 04, 2012

Une belle intégration architecturale au travers du bois... http://t.co/Gr89IdLj

Patricia Barcala D. · July 03, 2012

Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio http://t.co/9itM0B07

Aston Roberts · June 29, 2012

Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio http://t.co/BmkwMmQG

Oliver Samuel · June 28, 2012

well 'patrick' - as piers taylor - who is invisible studio - did the project (for his clients) when he was director at mitchell taylor workshop, he's entirely able to use his work in whatever way he pleases!

Patrick · June 28, 2012

Isn't this a Mitchell Taylor Workshop Job?!

???? · June 28, 2012

?????????? ? Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio | ArchDaily http://t.co/Zq7q6lNB @archdaily

Isa Romero · June 28, 2012

Buen proyecto residencial en el cual se fusiona una antigua construcción existente con un nuevo anexo. http://t.co/XmbNnmCp

Juraj Mikurcik · June 28, 2012

@Piers_Taylor Starfall Farm Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio http://t.co/5c0FWWZx < great little project, can see some affinity to ?????? :)

RubioBilbao · June 28, 2012

Integración coherente. Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio http://t.co/qgddxgEo vía @archdaily

Robert* · June 28, 2012

This just makes me pine for my own wee farmhouse/steading. Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio | ArchDaily http://t.co/iARj7Uso via @archdaily

Guillaume Mathieu · June 27, 2012

Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio | ArchDaily http://t.co/YRQVBnbj via @archdaily

Carme Carbó · June 27, 2012

Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio | ArchDaily http://t.co/WQXrDDdA vía @archdaily

Piers Taylor · June 27, 2012

Starfall Farm Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio | ArchDaily http://t.co/cKOaWLju

Santi Maggio Savasta · June 27, 2012

Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio http://t.co/Usmo9nru #Architecture #Architettura

Teddy Payet · June 27, 2012

Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio http://t.co/wpXEy8sL

Alex · June 27, 2012

Really nice and simple. A good balance between contemporary and vernacular architecture. It would be really interesting to have more projects of that kind in Archdaily.

habia arkitektura · June 27, 2012

Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio | ArchDaily http://t.co/liETbgAr vía @archdaily

Ivan Cotado · June 27, 2012

Buen proyecto residencial en el cual se fusiona una antigua construcción existente con un nuevo anexo. http://t.co/XmbNnmCp

Joey Goei · June 27, 2012

Starfall Farm/InvisibleStudio http://t.co/pZhl6jtj via @archdaily my dream hmean old english bldg with xtension.. tho with cushier interior!

Erik Joya · June 27, 2012

Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio: Courtesy of Invisible Studio Architects: Invisible Studio… http://t.co/hdSS57g5

Scott Abercrombie · June 27, 2012

Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio http://t.co/RNgQFRTO #architecture

LittleBearProd · June 27, 2012

#ArchitectMuse: Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio: Architects: Invisible Studio
Location: Bath, E... http://t.co/Gpz1nOYh #LittleBearProd

LBP Art · June 27, 2012

#ArchitectMuse: Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio: Architects: Invisible Studio
Location: Bath, E... http://t.co/tITVxnJX #LittleBearProd

Ardiansyah · June 27, 2012

Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio http://t.co/IYCJHiLY #ArchDaily

Charles _Werking · June 27, 2012

Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio http://t.co/aKSI9X8d

Architect Muse · June 27, 2012

#ArchitectMuse: Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio: Architects: Invisible Studio
Location: Bath, E... http://t.co/Fl3X9P6d #LittleBearProd

Dulce _Kai · June 27, 2012

Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio http://t.co/7g0m7R9A

????? · June 27, 2012

Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio: Architects: Invisible Studio
Location: Bath, England
Design Team: Piers Taylor... http://t.co/rPGcRTQ4

@ArchiStream · June 27, 2012

via @archdaily Starfall Farm / Invisible Studio http://t.co/6w3quqzY #Architecture

Ungureanu Adrian Danut · June 27, 2012

Plan 02, when enlarged is something else.

DB · June 27, 2012 04:53 PM

elevations 01+02, sections 01+02 as well

···

Comments are closed

Read comments