Farmhouse extension and Artist’s Studio, Suffolk

St James Farm sits in the open landscape of North Suffolk. Behind the Victorian appearance the house contains the core of a small sixteenth century farmhouse.

Ted Ridge was commissioned to create a large family room which could double as a teaching space and dining area for painting course students and a low cost studio large enough for studio easels. It was essential that the project passed smoothly through planning and could be constructed cost effectively before the next season’s teaching. The project was completed 10 months after the farm was purchased.

The family room achieves a significant increase in space without overpowering the house. Built from brick ‘seconds’ and simple local materials, it is well a detailed but cost-effective addition which has a sculptural presence in the farm yard.

The studio is an economic black shed. A careful arrangement of windows provides controlled light from several orientations. It is designed to hold its own in the open landscape, and anticipates being absorbed into a growing orchard and gardened farmyard.