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David Kohn reveals plans to convert Devon farm into homes

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David Kohn Architects has revealed plans to re-imagine Middle Rocombe Farm in Devon as ’a model of contemporary residential design in a rural environment’

The 1,430m² vision for the site includes reviving near-derelict farm buildings with the original farmyard redeveloped into a landscaped courtyard, the Big Barn and Little Barns converted into three-bedroom homes and a new house and studio built to the south.

No timescale has been set for the project which is among a number of rural projects on the practice’s books - a list which includes the renovation of the Grade II-listed Hertfordshire House in Beaconsfield.

David Kohn Architects' Middle Rocombe farm, site plan with labels

David Kohn Architects’ Middle Rocombe farm, site plan with labels

David Kohn Architects’ Middle Rocombe farm, site plan with labels

Project data

Architects: David Kohn Architects
Location: TQ12 4QL
Site area: 1,430m²
Gross internal area in sq m: House/Studio = 405m²; Big Barn = 250m²; Little Barn = 165m²
Client: Private
Architects: David Kohn Architects
Structural Engineer: Momentum, Austen Cook
Services Engineer: P3R – Michael Popper
Quantity Surveyor: WT Hills
Landscape Architect/ Designer: Todd Longstaffe Gowan
Other Specialist Consultant(s): George Bemment, ecologist

The architect’s view

The masterplan has been prepared for the existing owners who have lived on the farm for over 40 years. The owners plan to sell the original farmhouse at a later stage and live in another part of the site. The remaining plots will be sold with full planning consent.

Middle Rocombe Farm has a rich history. Until recently it was a working farm. In 1986 it became the second organic dairy farm in Devon and a few years later it was the birthplace of the UK’s first organic ice cream company – Rocombe Farm Fresh Ice Cream.

From 2003-2006 the farm was home to The Art Farm Project, a pioneering multimedia artist-led organisation which exhibited the works of over 50 local artists annually.

With this new masterplan the current owners envisage Middle Rocombe Farm becoming a model of contemporary residential design in a rural environment, bringing near-derelict farm buildings back into active use.

The first plot within the masterplan, The Ice Cream Factory, achieved planning consent for a conversion to residential and was subsequently sold in 2014 to a private client who is now working with David Kohn Architects to take the scheme on site this summer.

Ice cream factory

Ice Cream factory by David Kohn Architects

This new phase comprises the redevelopment of the original farmyard into a landscaped courtyard; the conversion of the Big Barn and Little Barn to the North of the courtyard; and development of a new house and studio to the south of the courtyard.

The Big Barn and Little Barn will be converted into two 3-bedroom houses with double height living spaces. They will be finished with white render and slate roofs to reflect the adjacent cottage.

The new house and studio replaces two dilapidated dwellings in an arrangement which completes the courtyard. The building is finished in a distinctive red stone sourced locally from the Rocombe Valley topped with a profiled metal roof.




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