London architecture and interior design firm Liddicoat & Goldhill converted a cluster of derelict buildings in Kent, England, into a vacation getaway loaded with character.

“The design inverts the typical barn-conversion type, creating hermetic, introspective spaces set in open countryside,” the architects said. “However, industrial-scale kinetic mechanisms create openings that address key views into the countryside.”

Some of the inspiring upgrades of this 18th-century barn remodel include a large rotating window operated by an adapted chain lift, an American aircraft hangar door and massive insulated shutters.

Exposed beams and wood framing create a rustic ambiance inside. The kitchen and dining area are defined by an overwhelming ceiling height, while the living room takes on a more cozy atmosphere. A skylight, running the length of the main roof’s ridge, illuminates the spaces.

“One of the central spatial challenges was insertion of a mezzanine (for sleeping and bathing) into the main volume,” the designers said. “A tapering brick chimney supports the corner of the mezzanine; it incorporates a cantilevered, waxed-steel staircase and an open fireplace.”

The barn home’s sustainable features include salvaged materials, a heat pump and reclaimed light fixtures retrofitted with LED bulbs. [Photos by Keith Collie and Will Scott]