Broadrayne Farm, located just to the north of the village of Grasmere in the heart of the Lake District, consists of a number of historic farm buildings, and central to these is the barn in which the Grasmere Independent Hostel was located. The owners approached Ben Cunliffe Architects to mastermind the full renovation of the hostel with a brief extending beyond just updating the accommodation.
The existing hostel bedrooms, fitted out with timber bunks and communal bathroom facilities, were to be completely overhauled to create a number of boutique, en-suite hotel rooms. Furthermore, the existing communal kitchen area was to be replaced with a fully fitted restaurant and bar, serving fine, locally sourced food and drink.
Ben Cunliffe Architects has a solid background in designing for the bespoke, high-end hospitality sector and has considerable experience working with historic buildings, so this project was a perfect match.
The barn was to be completely renovated, giving us a blank canvas on which to arrange the new layout of bedrooms, en-suite bathrooms, bistro space, WCs and lounge for the guests. Following an extensive and detailed design stage, the construction phase was completed in just five months, an extremely tight time frame considering the extent of the work. Ben Cunliffe Architects were closely involved throughout, managing the project and the inevitable hurdles that arise when working with historic Lake District buildings.
Unsurprisingly, the re-branded venue has been fully booked ever since, receiving rave reviews in the press for both the food and the accommodation.
The rooms and the bistro are generously sized, with local and contemporary touches that set the place apart from other hotels and restaurants in the area. The design is contemporary, but also highly referential to the history of the building and the local setting. Although the rooms are arranged around a completely new, contemporary stair way, many of the original features of the barn are retained and the history of the building feels ever present.
We are delighted to have made possible this next chapter in the ongoing story of Broadrayne Farm, and we wish the owners all the best for the future with the business.