RRA Architects’ principle intention throughout this project was to ensure the proper conservation of the Grade II Listed farmhouse and the barns within its curtilage, together with the development of a hotel brand with fit-out.
The project subsequently won the AA 5 Star Best Guest Accomodation Award
Photo Credit:Martine Hamilton Knight
The basic fundamental design approach has been the careful conservation repair of important heritage and the combination of all the service and fit-out demands of a 5 star hotel.
We developed with the client body a hotel format and room strategy that allowed development of the brand and negotiation within existing structure.
Wherever possible, the design of the individual spaces has taken into account the natural “grain” of the buildings thus sympathetic location of the various elements within that format. The recognition of the individual character of each of the buildings has been carried through into not only its conservation repair but also into the suitability of the new uses proposed, again wherever possible, the new uses have been located in the individual buildings which are best able to accommodate them.
The careful negotiation of client need and listed building status demanded a pro-active approach to project management. This project used video conferencing and on site video recording as a method of communicating to the client team the peculiar demands of a heritage site and the need to address fit out compromise.
The success of this project is clear to see but also the project has achieved for our Client the prestigious 5 star AA award with the AA write up stating;
“The AA Guest Accommodation of the Year for England, Ford Abbey, once a monastery farm, is set in a valley surrounded by some of Herefordshire’s most beautiful countryside. All the original character of the farmhouse, both internally and externally, has been retained during renovation and now the accommodation enjoys the benefit of immense charm combined with the highest quality furniture, fixtures and fittings.
The award-winning food is tailored to guests’ likes and dislikes and breakfast, an extensive affair, is set out in the old farmhouse kitchen. The service is attentive, friendly and efficient.
Judges were very impressed, saying: ‘A quite wonderful guest house with great character, quality and ambience.’”