In 2020, we helped King & Co reinvent a former farmyard in Hertfordshire as the ideal setting for 26 new homes and new workshops, nestling among the existing farm buildings on the rural edge of an existing village.
The proposals overlay new with existing heritage, and the landscape strategy plays a strong role in maintaining the characteristic agricultural origins of the site and embedding new and refitted buildings into the peri-rural context.
The rusting remains of disused machinery, vehicles and debris from agriculture and light industry, will give way to an organic combination of workshops and homes, retaining and converting the existing farm buildings, where feasible, into modern terraced homes and workshops.
The development takes a sustainable, “retro-fit first” approach to the site’s existing buildings and heritage, converting two disused dairy sheds into characterful new terraced homes.
New homes of contemporary design, feature materials within the local tradition – brickwork and timber-cladding. They form a series of yards, in a nod to the organic layout of the original farm.
Where we can, we retain the 19th Century walls of the local, large-format “Hitch Brick”, and new walls will add to the original agricultural yards – organising and characterising the development.
Our proposed paving and walling materials, and our strategy for soft landscape take their cues from Hertfordshire’s clay valley-floor landscape. We utilise clay stable-pavers, locally prevalent trees, native hedgerow and grassland species.
Within a nature-rich pocket park, an orchard of Hertfordshire-bred fruit tree varieties is set within local wild-flora to create the habitat for children and wildlife to thrive, in an environment with uniquely tailored local references.
The site’s perimeter restores hedgebanks and swales lost during the 20th Century, to recreate vital corridors to help reconnect local islands of habitat, and replenish the nearby Old Bourne brook.
We focused the walled pocket park around a small, natural play space, which, with its orchard and grasses, flora and seats, will become a nature-filled, green-place for the new community to share with the rest of Dane End.