Ilsley Barn Farm – Rejuvenation of redundant farmstead, West Berkshire
The project entails the redevelopment of former agricultural research buildings, to create a series of workspace units located around a central landscaped courtyard.
Located within the AONB, the design seeks to sensitively enhance the setting with a landscape-led scheme and sensitive material pallet. The existing building mass is reduced by over half, increasing green, permeable areas and reducing the overbearing presence of the structure.
Care was taken to reduce the perceived scale of the barns by breaking up the elevation through thoughtful cladding design and the use of a sympathetic, vernacular material palette. The elevation design has also been considered with prospective occupants in mind, providing flexibility to encourage a diverse mix of businesses to use the units and adapt to changes in market demand.
The new work units are dual aspect, opening out onto the communal courtyard from one side and providing views of the surrounding landscape from the other. The façade treatment sets out to provide a rhythm to the long elevations of the barns, while reinforcing their rural aesthetic, bedding the existing building better into its setting.
The team worked closely with landscape consultants to deliver a scheme that allows space for increased water attenuation and retention on site, helping reduce flooding risk further down the valley and increasing net Bio-diversity gain through appropriate native planting.