Guest Post from Tom Matthews
On the 16th of October 11 students from the University of Sheffield group, Humanitarian Architecture Society, came to visit the Open House project. Our society aims to educate its members and the wider community about issues in architecture of social consciousness and sustainability. We were therefore very excited when Leo agreed to give us a tour of this project and to find out more about what goes on at Barnes Hall farm!
Despite the best efforts of the Sheffield bus system to stop us, we greeted Leo on a glorious Wednesday afternoon to look around the site.
It was fascinating to see the builds in their various states of completion, from Leo’s finished and inhabited house, to the co-house and west barn which are still a work in progress. Seeing the agricultural heritage of the latter in the form of concrete cattle pens, and huge timber columns was a particular highlight.
Sketches by Nina Vacic
Leo gave us a great description of the systems at work in the plant room, and how the project is reducing its environmental impact with equipment such as the ground source heat pumps.
We finished the tour with a cuppa in Leo’s kitchen and a fascinating discussion about the experience of living and working as the lead architect on a co-housing project.
We are all very grateful to the Open House project for welcoming us, and to Leo for the tour and inviting us into his home, and we look forward to seeing how to project progresses!