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Threefold Architects wins approval for new barn on South Downs

Internal view of lavender drying area
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Threefold Architects has won planning permission for a barn within the grounds of South Downs National Park

The approved 1,105m² scheme in the 20ha Foundry Farm is for a two-storey building, which will include a stable and an office, and be clad in charred timber. It will replace an existing barn on the site.

Work is expected to start on site in the first quarter of next year, with a completion date scheduled for July 2018. 

Working drawings

Working drawings

Source: Threefold Architects

Working drawings

Architect’s view

The site at Foundry Farm has been a working industrial and agricultural landscape for the last 450 years. The development proposals were to demolish an existing agricultural barn and construct a new agricultural barn with ancillary offices and horse stabling. Our client has long-term aspirations to re-establish the agricultural use of the land at Foundry Farm, as over the last few decades, farming on the land has declined.

Through careful design and consideration of its surroundings, the barn has taken the form of a modest, traditional agricultural barn that is analogous to many buildings found within the landscape of the South Downs National Park. The proposed cladding is charred, vertically slatted timber, which aims to be subtle and sensitive within its surrounding woodland setting and practical for the needs of the farm business. The timber used for the barn will be harvested from the pine plantation that surrounds it. We intend for the barn to be an exemplar sustainable building for the national park, both in terms of its construction and its lifetime operation.

Foundry Farm was the subject of our London Festival of Architecture exhibition this year, representing a snapshot of our design process. For the event, we visited and immersed ourselves in the site and dug deep below the surface to survey, collect and experiment in situ. Following our visit, we transformed our studio into a busy workshop; casting timber samples and partnering with a local foundry to produce cast-iron objects. These literal translations of the site will form the basis of our detailed design phase, where a process of abstraction and refinement will inform the construction of the building and imbue it with the unique character of the site.

Project data

Location Foundry Farm, Shilinglee, Surrey
Type of project Office/Commercial/Equestrian/Agricultural
Architect Threefold Architects
Landscape Architect UBU Design
Planning consultant Bell Cornwell
Structural engineer Heyne Tillett Steel
Quantity surveyor Stockdale
Gross internal floor area 1,105m²
Start on site Jan-March 2018
Completion date July 2018

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