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A forward-thinking barn conversion

James Rippon James Rippon
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This conversion project which involved the conversion of a Grade II, 17th century farm in Wiltshire is special in more ways than one. Not just because of the rich history of the property, but also the purpose of the conversion itself. The near 300 year old stone buildings were in need of delicate restoration, before conversion work could begin. After Hetreed Ross Architects were appointed by Jamie's Farm Trust to obtain Listed Building, Building Regulations, and Environmental consents to begin, work could finally get under way on this one-of-a-kind conversion.

Jamie's farm, Wiltshire

Listed farmhouse buildings:  Houses by Hetreed Ross Architects
Hetreed Ross Architects

Listed farmhouse buildings

Hetreed Ross Architects

Jamie's farm is a unique place, and not a farm in the traditional sense. Jamie's Farm Trust helps disadvantaged young people to re-engage with society and their own futures through week-long farm stays of intensive 'agricultural therapy'. There really is no better way to clear your thoughts than to spend time in the country. The farm is made up of a number of buildings, all of which required careful design to ensure visible impact on the existing envelope was kept to a minimum. The listed farmhouse and outbuildings have not changed much at all since they were built centuries ago, and it was essential their character was not lost.

Sensitive additions

The project was not only well received by the Trust, but also by the community. The conversion achieved High Commended for 2013 West of England LABC Building Excellence Best Conversion Award, as well as being short-listed for the Best Community Building and Best Education Building. The barn adjacent to the farmhouse was converted into a communal space for socialising and dining. Here you can see how the old timber doors of the barn were replaced by a new entrance of full-height glazing, and a skylight added to the roof; new additions that are sensitive and non-imposing.

New mezzanine

Timber and glass mezzanine:  Corridor & hallway by Hetreed Ross Architects
Hetreed Ross Architects

Timber and glass mezzanine

Hetreed Ross Architects

The sheer height of the barn allowed the architects to design a mezzanine floor of timber and glass to perfectly complement the existing stone and timber structure. The glass balustrades ensure the light that enters in through the new entrance can still be dispersed throughout the space, whilst the new timber matches the existing beams of the ceiling.

Communal spaces

Group kitchen and dining area:  Dining room by Hetreed Ross Architects
Hetreed Ross Architects

Group kitchen and dining area

Hetreed Ross Architects

A large communal space greets those who enter the barn, offering a relaxed space for visitors to the farm to interact with each other, and to engage with staff in a relaxed atmosphere. Here, timber reigns supreme; we particularly love the custom-made dining table that takes centre stage in the new communal space.

A place to call home

Group kitchen and dining area:  Dining room by Hetreed Ross Architects
Hetreed Ross Architects

Group kitchen and dining area

Hetreed Ross Architects

The entire space is open plan, yet subtly divided through its layout and flooring. The kitchen is divided from the other spaces through the introduction of dark tiles, drawing an invisible boundary between the dining area and kitchen. This separates the function of these two spaces without the need for partitions. 

Overall, Jamie's Farm is a great initiative to help vulnerable children get back on track, all set away from the chaos and influences of the city. 

To see another sensitive farm conversion, take a look at this historical Cotswolds barn with a modern twist.

What do you think of the idea of an agricultural retreat for troubled kids? Let us know in the comments below.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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