Recently, a local Essex family purchased a decommissioned air base that was once home to the 381st Bombardment Group with plans to turn it into a sustainable farm. Essex is located in the southeast corner of England near the English Channel. On a clear day, you can see Europe from Essex – which is exactly why the US Air Force built a number of air bases for bombers and fighter escorts there during World War II.
When they reached their new purchase, the family found the premises were dotted with the remains of old Nissen huts (known as Quonset huts in the US) but lacked an actual farm house. Working with architect Cameron Scott of Timberdesign and Rationel Windows and Doors, they were able to re-purpose one of the air base’s old barracks and add a family living space to create a sustainable home that is energy self-sufficient. The new farm house even includes a tower that offers panoramic views of the entire property and serves as a reminder of the days when airplanes flew their missions from this very location.
The two linear spaces are connected by two corridors. Together, they create an inner courtyard where the children can play safely out of harm’s way from farming act