A rural community development in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in South Devon, near Bantham beach. Part farm, part leisure facility, part workspace, it provides missing pieces to the area’s social and economic life.

IDK worked closely with local residents and the client to deliver this ambitious scheme and on-site hub building. The two-acre plot provides space for skateboarding, small-scale farming, rewilding and play. The building hosts a cafe and event space, ceramics studios and surfboard shaping workshop.

Critical to ensuring the right mix of uses, the design was developed through extensive community consultation and careful strategic planning with the client and their networks. Generating significant local support for this facility was essential in securing planning permission for the project. Being sited in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where near-barren arable monocultures are often preferred over mixed use regenerative practices, the project serves as a case study for new forms of hyperlocal, sustainable rural development.

The venture has been a huge success, winning Food Drink's Best Cafe in Devon 2023, and hosting live events, skate jams and workshops. It has become a key point of local infrastructure, bringing people together across an otherwise dispersed rural community.

Outside shed provides a key hub for Outside's two-acre community-led regenerative masterplan.

Derived from an existing dilapidated structure, Outside shed was built by a local agricultural construction company, with a client-led self-build for the internal spaces. IDK sought to deliver maximum impact with minimum means throughout the project by taking an approach that celebrated and supported local supply chains in its design and procurement. Exposed raw finishes and loose-stacking furniture were chosen to create a durable framework for a mixture of uses, whilst reflecting the local agricultural context.

IDK and the Outside client team conducted extensive consultation to generate support for the project from the early stages. Over 500 individual letters were submitted in support of the scheme. Since opening, Outside have programmed events and workshops which promote skill sharing, wellbeing and inclusivity. The cafe, workshops and wider site are open daily, bringing people together and providing the economic foundations of the project itself.

The mixed-use site and regenerated natural ecology encourages cross-pollination, fostering shared and intersectional learning experiences. As the network grows, Outside has the capacity to evolve and adapt in the image of the local and wider community with which it engages.

New build / Community & Rural regeneration
Collaborators: Chris Hodgson Engineering, NR Structures, Jonny Stillwell, Wychwood Biodiversity, Mark Evans Planning Ltd
Photography: Toby Coulson

Shortlisted for RIBA J MacEwen Award 2023
Winner GAGA Sustainability Award 2023