The C21st Challenge

During Miss Braund and Miss Bird’s lifetimes there were many debates about how to make the Shallowford Trust sustainable. Architects were appointed, trustees debated. How to increase accommodation and barn space in various directions, support more children and maintain staff in what is perceived as an isolated location? As the farm remained Elizabeth’s and Rosemay’s home, change proved difficult. However, in 2014 the firm Roderick James Architects, headed by Pete Brodbelt was finally engaged. Sustainability of income balanced against engaging young people in the most effective ways to ensure lasting impacts, remained a strategic question until detailed questionnaires enabled a strategy to be developed between 2019 and 2020.

This primarily involved the conversion of the Main East Barn into accommodation and building an Outdoor Education Barn, more lovingly referred to as The Ark as a multi-purpose space in front of a wonderful lawn. The critical target, was how to achieve expansion whilst retaining a sense of home and developing activities that nurtured and encouraged young people to be challenged and thrive in an increasingly urban and screen based society.