The design of a house for himself and his family is one of the most difficult projects an architect can face. There are two reasons: discussions with the client will be very difficult, and it will becomethe most representative project of his work, regardless of the size.
Architect David Sheppard has chosen an old barn, a linhay, which is a typical rural building in Devon, but one that we also find in similar forms in Italy. It is a two-floor building. On the lower floor are the stables and on the upper floor is the hayloft. Respecting and enhancing the fundamental elements of the building in its traditional form, likethe stone columns and 50 cm thick walls,are the keys to its design.
The decision was made after careful study of vernacular architecture and the building, also made up of freehand drawing, a technique to investigate a design that is increasingly neglected. From this came the use of an unusual brise-soleil made of recycled hard wood, with vertical and horizontal elements. It is a system of facades that hides the large rear windows, which would have been considered a strange intrusion in a rural setting of this kind, and at the same time protects the privacy of rooms in the home. The shadows produced by this solution adopted by David Sheppard help give an idea of the volume as open, preserving the image of the typical Devon linhay. His attention to the setting won the project the RIBA South West Award, a regional prize awarded by the RIBA.