The Windermere and Bowness Civic Society have presented Ben Cunliffe Architects with a commendation for a noteworthy contribution to the visual amenity of the villages on our recently completed project, Millbeckstock Barn in Windermere.

Millbeckstock Barn was a traditional and substantial three storey Cumbrian ‘Bank Barn’ with a smaller adjoining shippon. With commanding views of Windermere, the barn has been in the ownership of the same family for generations. The project was developed over 5 years with the first phase developing an economic strategy for that would yield a successful commercial scheme, while preserving the emotional asset and providing a community gain.

A two house, one cottage scheme finally emerged, preserving the character of the barn but delivering houses that would suit differing budgets.

The strong environmental beliefs of the client drove the project and a green ‘box’ within the existing building envelope was conceived, incorporating high levels of insulation, passive gains and air tightness construction. The envelope achieved an average air tightness of 1.28 m3/hm2@50Pa – equivalent to Passivhaus Silver standard. An MVHR heat recovery system and incredibly small boilers yielded an environmental scheme Ben Cunliffe Architects are very proud of.

Adrian Legge from the Civic Society commented, ‘In particular, the Society welcomes the retention of original features of the building, especially the stone lintels and quoins and its first floor barn door entrance. The introduction of contemporary design in the west-facing two-storey window and the craftsmanship throughout the building, particularly the stonework, is impressive. Overall, we consider that Millbeckstock Barn makes a significant contribution to the environment of Windermere and Bowness.’