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Grand Designs Barn

9 Jan 2019
Case study

This County Down Barn was featured on the Channel 4 series Grand Designs and awarded the prestigious House of the Year award by the Royal Society of Ulster Architects in 2018 as well as receiving the RIBA Northern Ireland award for 2018. The property was designed as a big shed to form a backdrop for ever changing family life – a house which could respond to family life in a playful and pragmatic manner, but which would also fit the beautiful landscape it inhabits.

The original Barn was reconstructed to form the ground floor where the four bedrooms and two bathrooms are situated. The first floor is constructed of Cross Laminated spruce timber panels which not only is highly sustainable, but robust and practical for family living. Keylite’s Pine finish roof windows have provided a perfect blend with the internal timber, providing the balance between the traditional finish and contemporary feel which is visible throughout.

The view of County Down’s rolling Mourne Mountains is visible throughout the first floor, which is essentially one space separated into several zones. Keylite’s roof windows help to flood the open landing with light to form a bright study space above which a cargo net stretches out over the void and connects a small mezzanine play space.

Kevin McCloud describes the house as…

“One of the finest rural houses I’ve seen: pragmatic, ecological, unpretentious and full of joy.”


  • 1 x Keylite Centre Pivot 04 with Thermal Glazing
  • 2 x Keylite Centre Pivot 05 with Thermal Glazing
  • 1 x Keylite Centre Pivot 07F with Thermal Glazing
  • 1 x Keylite Centre Pivot 08 with Thermal Glazing
  • 1 x Keylite Centre Pivot 10 with Thermal Glazing
  • 5 x Deep tile flashings


  • Contractor – S Scott & Son
  • Architect – Micah T Jones
  • Merchant – Murdocks, Newtownards
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