School of Farriery, Warwickshire College of Agriculture

Having recently completed a new D&B halls of residence the practice were appointed by the College to prepare a Strategic Development Plan for the planned expansion of the college over a 10 year period. The ‘flagship’ project was the School of Farriery which was the first purpose built facility of its kind in Europe. The building occupies a prominent location on the campus and it’s conical form generated by its intended function also acts as a suitable termination to the campus’s ‘grand axis’.

The building has been designed with a fundamental higherarchy so that the core function of the farriery space remains constant as a space to be ‘served’ whilst additional ‘pods’ can be built on to the hall as and when required to house additional facilities to suit varying teaching techniques (i.e gas forges, coke forges, etc) and thus provide ‘service’ to the core function. Accordingly the building comprises of a large circular teaching space (the served) designed to accommodate 8 students and horses with an ancillary shower/WC pod (service) to the rear. The conical roof was included to provide natural passive ventilation since the process of shoeing horses results in an array of smells from both the hot metal on the hoof and also from the horses nervous disposition! This enabled a radial viewing gallery to be incorporated within the roof space to facilitate safe viewing during open day workshops, lectures and competitions. Throughout traditional and robust materials have been selected to compliment it’s rural setting and it’s proximity to the College’s listed administrative centre building.

The practice provided a full traditional service here (RIBA work stages A to L inclusive) in conjunction with the design team assembled to prepare the Strategic Development Plan. The project was built by Gildea & Harding who won the contract via competitive tender and it was completed in 1995 at a contract value of £314k.