Arts, Architecture & Design

Ancient & Modern


Historically speaking, the U.K. was slow to embrace the tenets of modernism; even when modernist buildings were made in early part of the last century, they often used traditional construction techniques, with rather mixed results. Recently however, Britain has produced some superb contemporary architects and work.

The marriage of the modern with ancient always presents opportunities for intriguing and imaginative work; in my opinion, courageous approaches like the one seen here re-interpret traditional architecture in far superior way to attempting a fake-traditional approach which not only ends up looking pastiche, but often perpetuates many of the inconveniences of old styles.

This renovated farmhouse is situated on Dartmoor, a harsh, stony landscape of surprising bleakness. Minimalism has a perhaps-unexpected sympathy with the very old; the key to both in this case is simplicity. The bareness of the ancient stone contrasts deliciously both inside and out with the simple purity of the modern finishes, and the insertion of a modern space between the two older buildings is an excellent way of uniting them into a spacious whole without detracting from their integrity.

It’s pleasing to see this kind of work being produced in provincial Britain – I just wish that the volume house-builders would take note and provide something more inspiring for the many people who lack the resources needed to undertake this kind of project.

More can be seen at a website that regularly features superb contemporary architecture from around the world.

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