Contemporary thatched dining room extension and refurbishment of an old country pub to become a new restaurant and cookery school.

Located just outside of Newbury, the original site consisted of the Five Bells pub and a dilapidated barn. The project involved renovating the existing pub and adding a spectacular, single-storey pitched-roof extension with a long central skylight and thatched roof to form the restaurant and kitchen spaces. A steel frame was designed with in-plane bracing to the sloping sides to facilitate the continuous skylight opening to the ridge.

Internally, some strengthening was required to the existing foundations and masonry piers, to allow for the removal of walls at ground level and for the increased load from the new entrance structure.

The new cookery school is a simple masonry and timber building connected to the existing renovated barn. It was a planning requirement to retain the old masonry barn walls, which were in poor shape and were out of plumb. A new blockwork inner leaf was constructed on new internal foundations, to which the leaning outer walls were tied in order to provide lateral restraint.

The new extension is home to the teaching kitchen and dining area, while the old barn provides storage and services spaces.

Newbury, UK

Chef John Campbell

Softroom | Milton Architects