Serene escape; where perfect form meets exceptional function
Designed for wellness, the natural materials at Crinan Studio emphasise its perfect lines
We can confirm that the annex trend shows absolutely no sign of abating!
Our clients and design collaborators continue to find innovative ways to create exciting new multipurpose spaces. The ultimate annex can be used year-round, has a low carbon footprint, and enhances the well-being of its users (as well as the wildlife around it).
At Crinan Barn, architects Holland Green (working alongside Last Interior Design), continued their design journey with the creation of an annexed studio, which would replace a pair of derelict timber stable blocks. The overall design took the shape of the existing stables and cleverly reflects the already-converted barn opposite, with black low-sheen standing seam aluminium cladding by PJB Cladding, clean modern fenestration by SQ Line and a statement shadow gap Thermowood open entrance feature. As well as expertly navigating planning permissions, the Holland Green annex design ticks all the boxes of form and function. Highly insulated and carefully specified, the annex is designed and built for longevity and set for multiuse.
Inside, the annex is inimitably stamped by the sublime touch of Last. “Our aim was to create more than just an energising ‘gym’ building; rather a calm wellbeing space… a place to relax, work, exercise, entertain,” says Rachele Bowley, Last Interior Design Director. “A connection with the outdoors and nature is always important in creating a space which feels relaxed and calm.”
The Trunk oak wall cladding became a pivotal element of the Crinan Studio scheme. Trunk are specialists in natural flooring, and when materials are that sublime why restrict them to underfoot?! The cladding brings natural warmth to the studio, emulating a forest cabin feel, as well as providing a contrast to the converted barn opposite (the property’s main residence). "The selection of the timber was hugely important,” says Rachele. “It had to be a wide plank to not look too busy, keeping lines minimal and retaining a feeling of space. It was important for the planks to feel smooth but not shiny… natural but not rustic.
“We worked with the natural flooring experts at Trunk to develop a lighter product suited to wall cladding. Having used their flooring on several projects (including the Last shop and studio in Haddenham), experimenting with their wonderful oak products as a wall covering is something I have wanted to do for a long time. The tone of the cladding was key; although light oak is very of the moment, this gently warmer finish contrasts perfectly against the cool Iron Grey polished concrete floor by Lazenby, which in turn acts as a key connection to the main barn. We are thrilled with the result. It really draws one into the space, making it feel both cosy and calm at the same time."
“Our aim was to create more than just an energising ‘gym’ building; rather a calm wellbeing space… a place to relax, work, exercise, entertain.”
Further into the studio, simple, flat-fronted kitchen cabinetry in a warm matt neutral tone blends with the walls (without fighting for attention), and provides full functionality hidden behind an easy-to-use facade. A shower room, complete with steam room functionality, is tiled in Ca’Pietra’s grey Bamboo porcelain mosaic, their simple linear design in a grey shade connecting with the linear effect of the exterior cladding. The bespoke fluted oak vanity unit below, as well as finish details such as bespoke oak display rails, are by Barr Joinery. Lighting includes a 'slim duet’ track lighting system and a Tom Raffield Loer pendant, also elevating the calm airy space to warm and inviting.
“Adding some rustic elements, to cut through the clean understated aesthetic, was an important part of adding character and individuality to the space – pieces with history, like the old coffee table toolbox and much-loved leather chairs. The vintage grain sack cushions, made exclusively for Last, add texture to the smooth finishes. Photography from Tom Shaw brings a wellness connection, evoking a feeling of movement whilst immersed in the natural world. Understated furniture pieces express ‘minimal design meets attention to detail’. Bench seats are crafted from a moulded veneer to curve the edges and soften lines. Candles made from soy wax and essential oils, particularly eucalyptus, are formulated to enhance self-care, using botanical properties,” says Rachele.
For the ultimate in flexibility, behind the scenes, all large pieces of equipment are easily movable! A full-sized table tennis table (on wheels), a film studio screen (also on wheels!) and a pull-out sofa bed mean that change of function can happen with ease. From games room to party room to home gym at one end of the studio, and from home office to cosy guest room at the other.
Crinan Studio is one of many outbuilding replacements or conversions that have graced the Barr Build portfolio over recent months and years. If you have an outbuilding which promises a new incarnation, the Barr Build Direct to Client team would be delighted to discuss the options.