My Favourite Building

Jonathan Glancey asked Guardian readers to put forward their favourite building.  Well this is mine.

I did think of a few others; the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, St Pancras Station, Bodiam Castle, but if I were to pick a single building I really love it would be this.

It’s a Sussex barn built in the decades either side of the turn of the 18th Century.  These pictures only show the outside, but what gives me the greatest pleasure is the oak frame inside (I’ve updated with an interior photo below).

It’s an outstanding example of what some would call vernacular architecture and I would say is a living tribute to our ancestors’ mastery of their environment.  They may not have had a lot of books in ’em but they could do marvellous things with hand tools and green oak and their work is all the more astonishing three hundred years later – not just because it has stood there all this time, but also because it reminds us not to patronise our forebears.

It’s also a building I both grew up with and hope to grow old with.   Last year I fixed the catslide roof and few things I have ever done have given me as much satisfaction – a feeling of honouring the men who made this and in some small way of carrying on their work, even if, as a child of the tech age, I’m not as sophisticated as they when it comes to building with wood.

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One Response to My Favourite Building

  1. Serge Young says:

    Beautiful wood construction. Its amazing the character that this type of construction has. Thanks for sharing.

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