Hayloft Barn

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As one of Plymouth’s last working farms, Poole Farm offers a wealth of education, health well-being and conservation activities to help local people connect to the natural world. Comprising of over 147 hectares of natural space, Plymouth City Council was seeking to expand its offering with the regeneration and conversion of an existing unused dairy barn, with plans to create a new educational and event area.

Thought to originally date back to the early 1900s, the barn was unfit and unsafe for public use, with TEC instructed to lead refurbishment works of the two-storey structure. To ensure the building remained true to its farming roots, design sensitivity was key to the success of this project to ensure it integrated and reflected its natural surroundings.

Works were extensive, and included increasing the height of the building to create usable first floor space, alongside installing a new roof. The construction of a new extension also helped to increase space, alongside the addition of new toilets, kitchens and break out areas.

Maintaining the ‘farm feel’, corrugated sheeting, previously found in one of the barns, was re-used to create a feature wall, while pieces of a fallen oak tree served to make for a natural room divider, as well as fixed seating. The build also utilised natural energy sources, with PV panels and an air source heat pump. This approach was reflected in the exterior, with the existing original stonework repaired and repointed.

Regenerated and bought back into use for the benefit of the local community, Hayloft Barn is now a welcoming, open plan space, featuring areas for community events, teaching and engagement. Reflecting its extensive farming heritage, the building has its own unique identity based around the natural world which surrounds it.