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A Tractor Shed Breathes New Life as an Award-Winning Sustainable Home

In rural North Yorkshire, a simple agricultural shed becomes a bright and energy-efficient home for a couple and their art collection.

After architect Greg Storrar helped his parents find a place to retire in rural North Yorkshire, England, it was only natural that he—an Associate at the London–based firm Tonkin Liu—also lead the design and construction of his parents’ home, library, and gallery.

Outdoor, Trees, and Grass A view of the tree-lined approach to the house.
A view of the tree-lined approach to the house.

Given the very modest construction budget and the clients’ desire for a sustainable home, Greg and the Tonkin Liu team turned to the adaptive reuse of an existing agricultural shed set far back on the long and narrow lot.

Exterior, Gable RoofLine, Wood Siding Material, Metal Siding Material, Green Roof Material, Glass Siding Material, and House Building Type The sedum green roof by Skygarden helps to manage stormwater.
The sedum green roof by Skygarden helps to manage stormwater.

Expanded to 2,260 square feet, the renovated two-story building—dubbed ‘Old Shed New House’—now comprises three bedrooms with a library and gallery space at its heart.

Exterior, Green Roof Material, Wood Siding Material, House Building Type, Metal Siding Material, Gable RoofLine, and Glass Siding Material The architects reused and enlarged the steel frame and ground slab to preserve the shed’s original form while cladding the structure in new materials sympathetic to the rural vernacular.
The architects reused and enlarged the steel frame and ground slab to preserve the shed’s original form while cladding the structure in new materials sympathetic to the rural vernacular.

Greg Storrar