Thorington: Unique barn a ‘weekend wonder’

AN eye-catching Suffolk property has been featured as a top destination in a leading travel publication.

The Balancing Barn in Thorington, near Halesworth, is included in this month’s Lonely Planet magazine.

The travel guide names it as one of its “52 best weekends away” – alongside Tampere in Finland, Goa in India and Amiens in France.

The 30 metre-long building with stainless steel cladding is intended to be a new-age take on the traditional Suffolk barn, which sits in the middle of a nature reserve overlooking a small lake.

The site opened last year and is just one example of a new wave of modernist architecture popping up across Suffolk.

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It is managed by Living Architecture, whose aim is to promote good architecture and make it available to ordinary people.

The company’s creative director is Swiss writer and television presenter Alain de Botton.

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The Lonely Planet article reads: “In 2009, pop-philosopher Alain de Botton spent a week as ‘writer-in- residence’ at Heathrow’s Terminal 5.

“Having analysed transport, he’s now turned his hand to accommodation.

“De Botton’s Living Architecture project invited top architects to design five holiday homes which would reinvigorate popular interest in innovative architecture.

“The Balancing Barn, which teeters on a hill close to the Suffolk coast, is a vast silver seesaw, with panoramic views and effortlessly modern interiors.”

Living Architecture company director Mark Robinson has previously said about the balancing barn: “The building is cantilevered over empty space so the structure of the building is quite complex.

“It had to be weighed down on the land side to counterbalance the overhang.

“I think people have been quite intrigued by it. It seems that the locals in the area and the planning authorities were very supportive of what we were doing.”

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