DHV Architects are leading the build of a new visitor hub at Tyntesfield that will preserve the Grade II* listed Home Farm complex and ease the current strains of increasing visitor numbers at this popular National Trust site.
Just a stone's throw away from Bristol city centre, Tyntesfield is a popular National Trust destination. With its extensive garden and parkland, the Victorian Gothic Revival house attracts thousands of visitors each year. DHV Architects are leading the construction of a new visitor welcome building at Home Farm located on the edge of the car park to replace the smaller existing facility at Home Farm.
Oliver Forsyth, project architect for DHV Architects explains the challenges: “Tyntesfield is a well-loved site and increasing visitor numbers were putting a strain on the existing welcome building. The project needed to provide a practical solution to welcome visitors as well as preserve the Grade II* listed Home Farm complex. Our solution was to create a new visitor welcome building to improve the visitor experience, but also enhance the historic character of Home Farm by allowing a future opportunity for the Upper Estate Yard to be reinterpreted”.
DHV Architects led a feasibility project which involved extensive consultation with the key stakeholders; National Trust staff and volunteers, the local authority, and Historic England to agree an acceptable solution for this remarkably significant site.
The site of the new building is located within the Grade II* Registered Park and Garden and the Green Belt. Planning consent was granted in early 2019 and construction began in early 2020. The internal fit-out commenced in March this year and the building is expected to open later in the spring.
What are the plans
“The position of the new welcome building gives us the opportunity to welcome visitors on arrival, early in their visit which enables them to access the estate quickly and easily. With a space large enough to move returning National Trust members through quickly and provide a comfortable information point for first time visitors. The building fits into the landscape and is of architectural merit but is not a pastiche of the buildings in the home farm stead.”
Paula James, Visitor Operations & Experience Manager, Bristol portfolio National Trust
Although bigger in size, it was crucial for the building not to compete with the other historical farm buildings seen at Home Farm. As such, its appearance is simple using board on board larch timber cladding and other materials such as concrete flooring, referencing some of the agricultural buildings seen at the edge of Home Farm.
Reinstating a historic tree belt
The project provides a further conservation benefit with plans to reinstate the lost historic tree belt to the west of Home Farm that was originally planted by Blanche Gibbs during the 1880s. The tree belt included native specimens such as oak, lime and beech. This will also help to screen the car park where it can be partially seen from within the Registered Park and Garden.
The Upper Estate Yard
The relocation of the existing visitor welcome facility will allow the future opportunity to reinstate the Upper Estate Yard in its historic use. To date, the Upper Estate Yard had been used for plant sales, a second-hand bookshop and a small children’s play area. It is also the home of the Somerset Bodgers; a group of skilled craftspeople who promote green woodworking and keep their traditional skill alive. The future benefits will allow for improved interpretation of the historic farm setting and provide a further conservation benefit to the Grade II* listed buildings.
Project architect: Oliver has overseen the Tyntesfield project since joining DHV Architects in early 2018. Oliver has worked closely with the National Trust client and project teams, leading several design workshops during the early stages of the project. Oliver oversaw the development of the building specifications and has managed the project throughout the recent site stages.
About DHV Architects
We are particularly experienced in the care and conservation of historic and ecclesiastical buildings, and we are adept at obtaining planning and listed building consent for sensitive sites. We have a lot of experience in grant funding bids and incorporating successful visitor and community engagement in public architectural projects.
DHV Architects offer all of the RIBA menu of services to suit every project. We have accreditation in building conservation (AABC), Passive House designer certification, and staff have experience in delivering BREEAM sustainable projects.
Learn more about the National Trust and Tyntesfield estate:
Tyntesfield is an exceptional example of a working Victorian estate and embodies the private and religious social movements seen during the late Nineteenth Century. The mansion house is characterised by its soaring Gothic pinnacles, crenelated towers, oriel windows and arches, all exquisitely carved from Bath stone and other local materials.
About the Somerset Bodgers
The Somerset Bodgers are a local group affiliated to the National Association of Pole Lathe Turners and Green Woodworkers.
They offer courses and workshops in this historical craft, using timber sourced from the estate and other nearby National Trust sites.