AF Coach Tour: Somerset

Join us for a daytrip led by architects of recently completed projects throughout Somerset


08:30am, Saturday, 9 May 2020


08:00pm, Saturday, 9 May 2020

Tour Guides: 

Edmund Fowles


One day


£45// AF Members and Supporters can use their code for 20% discount

*If you are interested in the tour but want to make your own way there from outside London please contact and we can arrange a reduced ticket price

Meeting Point:

Outside Victoria Station

Please arrive by 8:30am

This is a past event


**Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we will be postponing our tours programme until further notice. If you have already purchased tickets, you may choose to donate the cost of your ticket to the Architecture Foundation, rebook for a future date or receive a refund. We will be in touch with you via email in the coming days.**



The next in the AF's series of coach tours exploring landmark and contemporary projects thoughout London's satellite boroughs, the Home Counties, and beyond. 

Join us on 9 May for a day-long study of contemporary architectural projects in Somerset, starting at Charlie Bigham's Food Production Campus by Feilden Fowles, where director Edmund Fowles will lead the tour.

The tour continues to explore the series of buildings at Shatwell Farm by Stephen Taylor Architects, as well as the Drawing Matters Archive by Hugh Strange Architects on the same site. The final stops will be Museum of the Garden by Stonewood Design and Hapsden Apiary by Invisible Studio, before returning to London. 

The day will start at Victoria Station, where the group will take a coach at 8:30am to Somerset and will return back to London at roughly 8pm.

Charlie Bigham's Food Production Campus, Feilden Fowles (2017)

With the firm belief that the highest quality food can only be produced in a high quality working environment, renowned food production company, Charlie Bigham’s, set about this aspiration to create an outstanding workplace in the unique landscape of Dulcote Quarry, Somerset. The project will be their long term home allowing the business to grow organically. 

The masterplan revitalises the natural landscape and ecology by siting future kitchens and infrastructure along the southern edge allowing the north to flourish; and proposes a thriving campus of food production and communal pavilions for employees.

Constructed from a steel frame exoskeleton and insulated with Kingspan panels, the project has employed tried-and-tested construction methods to maximise efficiency and minimise impact on the landscape.

The colour palette has been driven by the rich tones of the quarry and is used to subtly to distinguish the different functions of the spaces within: the ground floor production spaces are clad in a light grey, micro- rib insulated panel; the plant and storage space is a deep red, sinusoidal panel, and the offices are over- clad with rough sawn Siberian larch.

The building has won an RIBA South West Award and was pronounced RIBA South West Building of the Year 2018.


Shatwell Farm, Stephen Taylor Architects (2016)

On the northern edge of Shatwell Farm, a historic enclave that has seen slow delicne in its agricultural industry over recent decades, two colonnaded agricultural buildings have been completed, a new cowshed and its associated haybarn. The cowshed is the single largest building within the group, capable of accommodating 50 cows. It is positioned with its covered feed line forming an open stoa as part of a walking route through the valley, from the neighbouring Hadspen Estate onto the farm. The new pair of buildings face each other across the mouth of the valley to frame the entrance into the built complex from the open countryside beyond.

The colonnaded frontispiece of the cowshed is crafted from a semi-dry cast concrete using locally quarried stone, acknowledging this civic role played by the building. This is echoed by the colonnaded front of the haybarn, which is executed in a red clay pressed brick, laid in a radial dogtooth pattern. The new buildings work together with several existing structures to strengthen the edges of the farmyard and provide accommodation for a range of disciplines.


Drawing Matters Archive, Hugh Strange Architects (2014)

Located within Shatwell Farm, the building provides an architecture archive for Drawing Matters. Inside the remaining walls of an old barn, two timber structures have been inserted with a single new over-sailing roof. The building shell is constructed of a single layer of solid cross-laminated timber, without insulation, external cladding or internal lining, creating a stable internal environment for the archive drawings. In contrast to the engineered timber, the buildings are fit-out with Cedar, Ash and Beech using timber felled from the surrounding woodlands.