Bassmead Manor Barns has undergone an extensive year long development scheme to transform the site into a unique wedding venue.
Based in Cambridgeshire the site comprises a converted 300-year-old barn for weddings, a contemporary reception barn and an overnight honeymoon suite, all located in an idyllic setting.
Onsite works began on the £1.4 million development in May 2013 and reached completion by April this year. Modplan acted as the main contractor, with Lewandowski Willcox carrying out the required architectural services for the development.
Premier Construction caught up with David Brown, from Lewandowski Willcox who was the lead architect on this project, to find out more about the scheme. The firm became involved in the Bassmead Manor Barns projects as they have extensive experience in the wedding venue industry.
“The onsite works initially involved a complete clear out of the site including the demolition of the redundant sheds and farm buildings that were no longer required. We then undertook a strip out of the existing Long Barn building, which is a two storey brick built barn structure, before fully refurbishing the space, including the re-roofing of the building.”
The Long Barn boasts an array of exposed brick on its interior and new contemporary lighting, as well as containing exposed timber trusses throughout. After the team had extended and refurbished the existing Long Barn building they then began the construction of a new green, oak framed ceremony barn, which has been attached to the existing barn structure.
The entire design and colour scheme was heavily influenced by clients Richard and Cordelia Squire. The green oak framed barn is stunning and contains full height glazed oak screens on both sides of the structure, as well as impressive oak framed glazed doors which lead through to the external courtyard. The courtyard offers amazing views of the site and has been carefully landscaped by an independent landscape architect.
The colour pallet in all three buildings is varied and includes green oak, exposed European oak, exposed red and yellow brick, with feature lighting throughout. In the Long Barn the newly manufactured granite bar sits in front of a bespoke back bar detailed iridescent mosaic tiles and recessed LED lighting.
Linked to the ceremony barn is a new single storey, oak clad service wing which contains the kitchens and toilets. Surrounding the venue lies the sites moat which has been carefully landscaped; new vehicular and pedestrian bridges have also been erected across the moat serving the venues newly installed car park.
The on site team did encounter some challenges during the development of the site as it is a listed monument. Ongoing discussions were held with the local authority and conservation officers to ensure that the renovation project was in keeping with the historic nature of the site and was sympathetic to its roots. The planners were keen to keep the site reminiscent of an ancient farm house and so the materials that have been used are in keeping with this traditional design.
David said it has been great working on the Bassmead scheme:
“Working alongside Modplan and the clients has made the whole process run very smoothly and there has been a great collaborative atmosphere on site. Despite the site being quite large, the design and nature of the buildings creates an intimate feel, which ensures the site is welcoming from whatever angle you enter into it.”
Modplan Building & Refurbishment Ltd
Modplan Building & Refurbishment Ltd offers a full consultation, design and build service to a range of clients. The team undertakes individual new build projects, property development, domestic and commercial property refurbishment, damp and timber treatment, property restoration including specialist works to listed buildings, civil engineering works and home improvements and domestic extensions.
Modplan have been a limited company since 2003 but were previously a partnership for 25 years. They have worked on an array of projects in the past including converting heritage sites such as Warren House, Queen Anne’s Summer House and Keeper’s Cottage for The Landmark Trust. They have also worked with Central Bedfordshire Council on a number of schemes, as well as assisting The Shuttleworth Trust on a range of developments.
Premier Construction caught up with Andy Collins, Contracts Manager at Modplan, who ensured the smooth running of the Bassmead Manor Barns project for which Modplan acted as the principal contractor. Andy added:
“It was a wonderful project and we were really delighted to be selected for, not just because of the building’s location, but also because it is in such a wonderful setting. We won the project early doors through a competitive tendering process and we wanted to ensure that we fulfilled our obligations and got everything done on time.
“The scheme had a bit of everything including a new build, a green oak building, and a refurbishment of the existing barn. We enjoyed the commercial side of things as well as providing a quality project for the client. We pride ourselves on customer care and quality; we go the extra mile to ensure the client is happy and always try to promote a good name for ourselves in the industry.”