London architects fardaa: holistic design focus

London-based architecture and design studio fardaa work on a diverse portfolio of projects throughout the UK. Its approach focuses on place; considering how buildings will be used and how they will integrate into communities, along with an awareness of social and environmental responsibility.

This award winning architecture practice works on small and large scale projects, always aiming to create sustainable architecture that will solve problems.

fardaa was founded by Edward Farleigh-Dastmalchi in 2019. He explained the architectural practice ethos:  

We believe that the design process should be a holistic endeavour, considering aesthetic, economic, poetic, ethical, qualitative, social, tectonic and environmental concerns at once and without bias. Our work to date includes private homes, small-scale residential development and commercial projects. Recently we have built in London, rural southern England and Scotland.

We have a track record of achieving planning permission in challenging contexts by producing work of the highest design quality, an approach that has led to recognition in a number of highly reputable awards, including a recent win at the Civic Trust Awards and a shortlisting for this year’s RIBA Awards.

Here we feature one of fardaa’s innovative projects, the beautiful Croft 3 restaurant on the Isle of Mull.

This project repurposed a ruined barn into a restaurant that serves as a community resource in an isolated area of Scotland. The client previously operated a restaurant from a room attached to her rented cottage: it was compact, lacked views, was packed with tables and shared a domestic kitchen. The result was an intimate, convivial atmosphere, as guests shared tables and conversation with strangers.

The client wanted to expand and engaged fardaa to design a new restaurant from the ruined basalt stone byre nearby: while the barn’s walls were intact, it had lost its loft floor and roof. Although the barn appeared tiny in the dramatic landscape, a voluminous space was contained inside.

Master planning

The challenge for the architecture practice lay in reconciling the intimacy of the previous restaurant with the grandeur of the byre and landscape beyond. Sustainability is key to this design: the master plans aimed to lower the embodied carbon of the building by reusing stone and low-carbon materials. During the reconstruction process, the basalt stone walls were repaired using stone salvaged from the site and lime mortar.

Welcoming community venue

The refurbishment created an inspiring ground floor dining space. Four new square windows were formed low in the wall, providing framed views of the nearby bay at a level favouring seated guests. The natural light is consequently focused low, and the warm, unpainted salmon-coloured plaster softens the whole room. There are dramatic, exposed timber roof beams and long, narrow tables made from a single Douglas fir tree on the island, bringing diners close to strangers and each other.

While the renovated stone barn houses the dining hall, a new timber-clad extension was designed to feel substantial but not to overwhelm the main building. Clad in weather-resistant Siberian larch slats, it contains the kitchen and foyer. The project has created a strikingly picturesque building that sits handsomely in the austere landscape.

What we like about this London architects’ practice:

fardaa assesses a project in the round to ensure its master plans meet all practical and aesthetic requirements. We particularly like the way the stunning Croft 3 building above sits so comfortably in the physical world of its environment, becoming a natural part of the fabric of the rugged countryside.

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