‘Art Barn’, a storage, archive and gallery facility for artist Peter Randall-Page’s work in Devon is a finely crafted case of architectural reuse by his son Thomas Randall-Page.
Peter Randall-Page purchased the barn in 2011 and commissioned his son Thomas's studio to oversee its conversion into a storage space and archive for his work, which includes stone sculptures, drawings and prints inspired by the geometric forms found in nature. The building, named Art Barn, is located in the countryside on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park. The project brief called for the barn's appearance to remain largely unchanged and for its new functions to be accommodated within the existing envelope.
A series of industrial scale shutters in cedar and galvanised steel playfully fold and slide, revealing a complex, multi-layered space within a mute and unassuming exterior. Inside the vast day-lit gallery, a freestanding ‘creature’ stands on stone hooves. Known as the ‘Winter Studio’ this room-within-a-room is the project’s nerve centre. It is wrapped in a dark cork and warmed by a wood-burning stove. Beyond its door, a balcony offers long views out through the tree canopy and across the valley. As the building is re-shuttered on departure, the balcony folds back flat, effortlessly becoming part of the wall again.