Bespoke Barn Conversion, Reading

Custom Structural Glass for Luxury Conversion


Structural glass throughout stunning barn conversion, Reading.


Structural glass porch, glass balustrading, curved glass balustrade, frameless glass doors & custom hardware.


This beautiful and unusual barn conversion near Reading was originally intended as a new home for the owner, close to their original farmhouse dwelling. The striking, steeply sloped triangular glass porch was designed to follow the slope of the roof, creating an unusual entrance to the building that looks even more magnificent at night when lit up by the two pebble-filled light wells that sit within the glass structure.

Inside the barn, the use of frameless glass balustrading and glass internal doors ensures the maximum flow of light within the building, overcoming the planning restrictions on adding more windows to this listed property.

Ion’s brief was to provide curved glass panels that fitted flawlessly around the concrete staircase, cut to follow the line of each individual step and interfacing with the glass balustrade on the bridge: this in turn interfaces with an additional curved glass panel around the curved metal staircase, creating an entrance to the mezzanine floor which is set slightly below the level of the bridge.

The combination of concrete, glass and metal creates a contemporary edge to the interior whilst at the same time maintaining the visual impact of the exposed roof beams and oak structure of the barn.

Technical Information

The final structural CAD drawings, commissioned metalwork and fittings, delivery and installation logistics (including crane management) were all undertaken by Ion Glass.

The structural glass porch is built with four panels of laminated and toughened glass supported on structural glass beams running the full length of the sloping roof. Where the beams interface with the vertical front of the porch they are connected to vertical glass fins using bespoke brackets specially commissioned for the project. The sides and front of the porch are set into concealed glazing channel within the floor and wall makeup. The front end of the porch includes a secure glass door, hung using hydraulic glass hinges for an effective and minimal result.

The frameless glass balustrade to the stairs, bridge and mezzanine floor is constructed from a combination of curved and straight glass panels fixed with a double row of single point stainless steel bolt fixings.   The staircase itself is hung off a central brick column, in cast concrete with no stringer, interfacing seamlessly with the concrete bridge.  Each glass panel is individually cut to follow the stepped underside of the staircase, stood off from the face of the concrete by just less than 100mm using stainless steel spacers.  All the glass panels throughout this project are made from 17.5mm thick laminated and toughened glass and are fully compliant without the need for a handrail.

Each internal glass door is wholly bespoke, to meet the unusual character and dimensions of the barn.  The opaque glass door to the ensuite fits under the angle of the roof beam whilst the sliding glass door to the master bathroom provides the optimum solution with regard to the space available.  All hinges and handles were provided in a satin stainless steel effect finish, including the bespoke lock created for the master bathroom door.

  • Deceptively simple, the extensive use of structural glass throughout the barn conversions creates a contemporary result that is both functional and visually striking within this ancient building. The design of the porch is so unusual that passing drivers have stopped to admire the result.  The owner, who devised the original concept of following the ancient roofline with a contemporary glass structure is delighted with the result, saying it met all his expectations. He stated:  "I wanted to build something that would make a real statement, avoiding the more typical ‘oak and glass’ option of many barn conversions.  I explored the idea of metalwork inside the building but wanted the light and airy feel result created by maximum use of structural glass.  We approached a number of suppliers but Ion Glass was the only company who were confident that they could achieve the result I was hoping for, especially with regard to the over-sized panels of glass in the porch.  It was definitely the right decision and I am very happy with the outcome."

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