Architecture

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“South Downs Heritage Centre”

May 8, 2024

South Downs Nurseries and Garden Centre

Project Type Two Sussex-style oak-framed barns to create The Barn Coffee Shop and South Downs Heritage Centre

Client Tates of Sussex

Location Hassocks, West Sussex

The Challenge

A well-established local company, Tates of Sussex, own high quality garden centres across East and West Sussex.

They have built an excellent reputation for the quality of their premises, as well as the produce and service they offer.

Tates of Sussex Garden Centres wanted to expand its South Downs Nurseries and Garden Centre in Hassocks with a new, large scale development hosting a larger café and a heritage centre selling local produce and work by local artists.

The company was eager to create a popular visitor destination and ensure large scale extensions were in keeping with the original buildings and the beautiful West Sussex countryside where the centre is located.

Our Solution

Folkes Architects has worked with Tates of Sussex on several projects and we know how important quality, sustainability and strong design are to their business.

Working closely with the client, we developed a detailed design brief in order to create the best possible space to host a welcoming and stylish coffee shop and innovative heritage centre.

The design intent was to deliver an oak framed barn complex with exposed oak structure throughout and double height spaces filled with natural light to create a welcoming environment for customers and staff alike.

The complexities of the site led the Folkes design team to create an L-shaped building formed by two oak framed barns joined with a glazed link.

Although traditional in appearance, the building is finished with high performance contemporary aluminium doors and windows and in total provides over 1,500 square meters of additional floor space for the garden centre.

Folkes Architects provided the following services:-

  • Preparation of initial concept sketches
  • Preparation of Full Planning drawings and the submission of the Planning Application, including coordination with other design consultants
  • Preparation of the Detailed Design package for Building Regulation submission to the local authority, which included coordination with the principal contractor, Client, kitchen specialists, oak framing company and structural engineer
  • Ongoing assistance to the Client and principal contractor during the construction of the barns.

The Result

The two beautiful new oak barns designed by Folkes Architects are very much “Sussex” in style, to reflect the local heritage of the company and complement the rural nature of the site and surrounding area.

  • The Barn Coffee Shop and Restaurant– a stylish and popular meeting place for shoppers
  • South Downs Heritage Centre– incorporating Sussex Food Hall and the innovative Museum of Gardening
  • An extra 1,500 square metres of retail space, hosted in Sussex-style oak-framed barns with double high ceilings to maximise light and air circulation.

Our project architect says

“This was a challenging and exciting project to work on, bringing together and coordinating a number of specialists. Working closely with the client and contractor has helped deliver an outstanding and beautiful new space which we know has attracted new customers as well as showcasing local food producers and artists.”

Free Consultation

If you’re planning an extension or want to know more about building your own home, call or email Folkes Architects today for a free, informal chat about how we can help.

Tel: 01903 868629
Email: info@folkesarchitects.co.uk

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