Holiday Barn Conversion


Donald Insall Associates has collaborated with the National Trust to create a series of concept and sketch designs for holiday accommodation in redundant thrashing barns in Shropshire. The consents applications, which adapt the disused barns for use as National Trust branded holiday cottages, will provide holiday units of 3 and 4-star rating.

The aim of the scheme is to ensure the nature of the homestead typology is safeguarded and any intervention has a light touch. We thought hard about the landscape setting to retain and enhance the sense of place, which included keeping Dutch barns for covered space.

An assessment of the building forms and architectural elements, together with a strategy for the approach and entrances, has played a key part in defining the proposals. Our aim has been to have minimal impact on existing traditional architectural features with layouts being influenced by the location of dividing walls, principal structure and openings. Consideration has been given where ever possible to express and enhance features, including:

  • When considering the accommodation layouts, the aim has been to provide arrangements of the holiday units which respect the original planned divisions of the building structure.
  • The accommodation is planned between the structural bays. This typically leads to individual stairs to each upper bedroom suite. It has minimal impact on the traditional structure and is reversible.
  • The accommodation has been arranged to utilise all existing openings. Some openings which have been blocked in are to be reinstated, whereas others are to remain blocked.

The adaptation to holiday cottages is undertaken with minimal impact to the structure and fabric of the barn whilst also seeking to keep the project costs commercially viable, a crucial element of our brief.

Surviving traditional features are to be retained and/or reinstated whilst the proposed interventions are contemporary, discrete and with minimal visual impact.

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