Wraxall Yard / Clementine Blakemore Architects

Architects: Clementine Blakemore Architects
Area: 8,611 Square Feet (800 Square Meter)
Year: 2022
Photographs: Lorenzo Zandri
Manufacturers: Another Country, Bakare, East Brothers Timber, F Cuff & Sons, Ropox, Schneider, The Rooflight Company, Ty Mawr Lime, West Leigh
Lead Architects: Clementine Blakemore
Architectural Assistant: Louis Mayes
Country: United Kingdom

Wraxall Yard, a thoughtfully restored dairy farm in Dorset, serves as a multifaceted community hub offering holiday accommodation, communal spaces, workshops, and educational opportunities on organic farming. Nestled in the 250-acre landscape of the West Dorset AONB, the site is a beacon of regenerative agriculture. This project, launched by a not-for-profit Community Interest Company in July 2022, integrates high standards of accessibility and sustainability while preserving the farm’s historical and agricultural essence. The facilities are tailored to enhance engagement with the natural environment and support individuals with disabilities, promoting inclusive community interaction and environmental stewardship.

Wraxall yard / clementine blakemore architects

Wraxall Yard has been delicately restored and now offers inclusive holiday accommodation, a community space, a workshop, and an educational smallholding in Dorset. This site is part of a 250-acre organic farm in the West Dorset AONB, transitioning to a regenerative agricultural system. The project’s goal was to renovate the neglected site to exemplary standards of accessibility and sustainability, maintaining the distinct historic and agricultural character of the existing structures.

Wraxall yard / clementine blakemore architects

The completed development is available for rent as five individual holiday lets or as an entire site, including the community space. Since its inception as a not-for-profit Community Interest Company in July 2022, approximately 60% of the reservations have been from families with disabled members. In collaboration with the local charity Green Island Trust, the site will provide supported holidays to local residents with disabilities in the coming year.

Wraxall yard / clementine blakemore architects

The community space is offered at no cost for events like gatherings for isolated elderly individuals. This month, a volunteer program is launching in collaboration with the Dorset AONB to engage young people with mental health and/or addiction challenges in rural activities.

As much as possible, the original structure was preserved and showcased, with repairs and modifications executed by expert craftspeople using reclaimed materials and naturally derived, low-carbon products such as cork and wood fiber insulation. Reused openings feature large glazing sections divided by timber mullions to moderate sunlight and ensure privacy.

In the courtyard, views are softly screened by a casual arrangement of trees and shrubs. This serene enclosed area connects to the broader landscape through a boardwalk, which includes environmental initiatives like introducing wild honey bees and developing woodland pastures.

In partnership with the Centre for Accessible Environments, the design team conducted consultations with disabled individuals to tailor the site to their needs seamlessly. The pathways are designed to provide smooth access without the need for specific ramps or handrails. Inside, the facilities include ample maneuvering space, visual contrasts for easy navigation, switches at accessible heights, and vibrating fire alarms for those with hearing impairments.

Wraxall yard / clementine blakemore architects

The design avoids an institutional feel, with bathrooms and kitchens featuring adaptive elements such as sinks with integrated grab handles, adjustable worktops, and ceiling hoists. The refurbished Dutch Barn allows visitors to safely engage with farm animals, supporting a range of holistic social and environmental initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of life and natural environments.

Wraxall yard / clementine blakemore architects
Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: Lower Wraxall, Dorchester DT2 0HL, United Kingdom

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