Farm Architecture: Form, Function and Place

By Bonnie Welch, Sustainable Food Trust

“How can the design of farms and farm buildings be beautiful, functional and express a sense of place?” This was the central question explored by Mark Hoare, Kim Wilkie and Stephanie Evans during their parallel session “Harmony Principles in Farm Architecture” at the Harmony in Food and Farming conference earlier in July. In his opening talk, architect Mark Hoare drew upon a theme prevalent in the conference: interconnectivity. He described the importance of an agricultural system based upon the interconnectedness of farming, living and landscapes, involving both the animals and people who are a part of them. Gesturing to an image of a beautifully designed Cumbrian hillside barn, Hoare described the interconnected relationship between home and barn where people both live and work in the same location, so the necessity for farms to engender hard work and allow space for relaxation are paramount to their success. During the subsequent audience discussion, a...