Harts Yard

Harts Yard


A collection of 8 new homes for Raw Element, designed with a contemporary vernacular style located in the heart of the Farnham conservation area with a compact, high density mews arrangement for modern, town centre living.

The design utilises some of the existing historic buildings and follows the established urban form surrounding the yard  giving the new homes an immediate and intimate relationship with the public realm and historic yard.

The new homes position convivial private domestic spaces on the ground floors (kitchens / dining spaces) to have direct relationships with the existing public right of way and provide passive surveillance to an otherwise back-land historic cut through.

External finishes, coupled with the pairing of unit entrances are arranged around landscape ‘mats’ of contrasting pavers denoting entrance territories of homes distinct from the public thoroughfare as subtle devices to blur the definition between private and public space and to encourage inhabitation in the yard, adding to the feeling of safety and domesticity in the yard.

The new yard is designed to have a quiet domestic quality reinforced by a selection of reclaimed materials from the site (imbuing the continued sense of history of the site) coupled with a calm palette of high quality new materials including a slurry washed brick, painted timber boarding and bespoke window planters as well as subtle architectural detailing such as recessed brickwork and smooth finished lintels.

Parking provision is above the planning requirement and is intentionally concealed within a parking podium accessed through a gatehouse threshold.

Colours selected for the facades are referential to the historic windows and doors found in the site’s existing condition.

The building forms and facades are arranged to reference a historic yard vernacular to suggest a conscious history to the yards heritage with juliette balconies, again reminiscent of a loading door of store buildings. 

A number of previous planning applications had been made to convert the historic yard and buildings into residential and commercial space and a permission for 8 residential units existed on the site in a pastiche style when the client approached Re-Format to develop a Section 73 application to re-design the development, improve the unit layouts and develop a more contemporary architectural language within the conservation area and working with the existing buildings.

A lengthy planning process followed, in which extensive consultation was had with Waverley planning and heritage officers with approval granted at the end of 2023.