Native Chartered Architects Limited

Native Architects is a rural architects practice specialising in rural diversification projects with experience of the following:

- Leisure & Tourism
- Holiday Cottages & Lodges
- Heritage buildings
- Rural Offices
- Eco Homes
- Class Q projects

We design and facilitate the conservation of buildings that have a low impact on the environment using methods and products that meet high sustainability standards. We also refurbish Listed and Historic buildings in ecologically sound and heritage appropriate ways.

The practice was started 20 years ago and we are committed to working in collaboration with both the client and technical teams and have a hands on approach to our design, having developed trusted relationships with both our clients and consultants over the years. We engage with the latest research to inform our practice and we are committed to rural regeneration and farm diversification projects.

Notable examples of our work include:

The Bivouac

The Bivouac at High Knowle, in North Yorkshire, won the Ripon Civic Society Best Conservation & Sustainability Award and the Helen Whitehead award for Overall Best project situated within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It was an eco-tourism project that was created from the conversion of derelict barns and new, timber cabins and yurts.

Native converted and renovated the old barns to create a new cafe, camping barn, gift shop, communal washing facilities and a dining space to support the yurt camping and timber lodge facilities that were developed on the site.

As part of the brief it was crucial that we considered every aspect of the buildings` fabric to reduce energy use. As much wood as possible was locally sourced; timber species were selected for their weather resistant properties to avoid chemical treatment; fresh water is supplied by a spring and grey water is recycled, with all waste water passed through a reed-bed to a soak-away, meaning not only is a septic tank avoided, but biodiversity is increased. A wood chip fuelled boiler was used to heat the facilities and generate hot water.

Today the tree lodge and glamping retreat is successfully supporting the local, rural economy. The cafe`s food is local, as are the staff. To complete the picture, the project is close to a footpath and cycleway, so many visitors don't need to arrive by car.

William's Den

This recently completed project, is a great example of rural estate and farm diversification. William's Den is a new and exciting adventure attraction, giving children the chance to connect with nature and get active as they explore a custom designed complex that brings the great outdoors inside.

Working with a large interdisciplinary team, Native led the design team for the new William`s Den visitors centre that includes the conversion of Listed farm buildings to create a commercial kitchen serving a large double height restaurant incorporating a feature wood fired pizza oven, bar, and ice cream parlour.

A new two storey play barn, is linked to the listed barns by a timber framed and clad link, which incorporates a gift shop and entrance foyer.

The project has incorporated a range of sustainability measures. The buildings are heated by a biomass district heating scheme with solar photovoltaic roof panels to provide renewable energy generation onsite. The building fabric has been highly insulated using low carbon, renewable and recycled construction materials where possible to lower the amount of energy needed to heat and cool the building.

By using lime (instead of cement), timber, hempcrete and high performance wood fibre insulation materials throughout the build, the client has reduced the amount of CO2 emitted during the construction phase and further enhanced their sustainability credentials. Low toxic, natural materials allow the building to `breathe` and maintain good internal air quality.

Harrison Spinks Bedmakers

The high-specification Leeds based bed makers Harrison Spinks, required modern and traditional buildings attached to a Grade II listed farmstead near Tadcaster to be sympathetically converted for commercial use.

Their ethos is very similar to Native's - every effort is made to use only natural, renewable materials. They are committed to growing their own materials locally and avoid sourcing from distant places to reduce embodied energy. Sheep are reared on the farm to produce pure new wool and hemp cultivated to manufacture 'Hempure' blends for filling mattresses. To insulate the large wall surfaces of the agricultural buildings, Native specified in-situ cast hemp lime to ensure airtightness, breathability, humidity control and thermal mass to even out diurnal temperature variations.

This approach minimised the heat input required from the district heating system, even though this is fuelled by waste from biomass grown on the adjoining farmland.

Farmhouse Regeneration in East Yorkshire

Native have helped to transform and extend a rundown, unattractive, and poorly performing farmhouse in East Yorkshire into a highly energy efficient, healthy, beautiful home.

Using low carbon, natural materials throughout we retrofitted the original house with wood fibre insulation and installed new high performance windows and doors. This both improved the look and the performance of the house. We also extended the ground floor to create a large kitchen, dining space and an annexe for an elderly family member with two straw bale walled structures, topped of with green roofs. Both the original house and extensions were finished with a lime render finish to unite the old and new.

The client is delighted with the 'new' house, noting:

'We greatly appreciate your help and the result on the house, which we love living in. We get a great deal of positive comments about the house... even without heating there is very little temperature change (max 2 or 3 degrees) in the kitchen between winter and summer. Often the only heat we use is from the small log burner in the annex!'


To find out more about our projects you can visit our portfolio, on our website.

Stand Number: 482