Spa Hotel

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Lyme Regis, Dorset
Richard Downer
Our clients needed an architect in Lyme Regis, Dorset to provide them with a full exterior and interior design service for their new spa facility, restaurant extension and bedroom wing within the hotel’s grounds.

A well established hotel on the cliffs of Lyme Regis, Dorset, approached us to help them assess the feasibility of, and then design, additions for a spa facility in the grounds of the hotel, an extension to the existing restaurant, and a new bedroom wing for the hotel.

The hotel is listed and located in a prominent position on the cliff tops. Due consideration was therefore given to it’s character and setting before proposals were made. The proposals were designed to have clean lines and use bright natural materials such as limestone, copper and white render.

The spa needed to be located within the gardens of the hotel to enjoy the calm outside space and views over the sea and coastline. However, it was imperative that the new facility did not disrupt or disturb the enjoyment and views out from the hotel behind.

The spa building was therefore dug down into the ground on the cliff edge. Planting and landscaping would conceal the spa from view from the hotel and gardens; the building only revealing itself upon arrival to the steps down to the entrance.

Panoramic views of the sea from all internal spaces was crucial, and a full height wall of glass forms the front face of the building. This glazed internal volume was wrapped in a limestone ‘skin’, which creates the roof-top restaurant terrace.

A separate woodland spa-garden was located further up the cliff, accessed by a sunken stone and glass staircase.

We are 5 months in to a 7 month build on our 1930’s Arts and Crafts house in Torquay, the design of which Van Ellen created for us. We were instantly impressed by their designs but it’s only since the build / renovation has moved in to its final stages do we really appreciate the wonderful space they have created for us. The house, whilst always grand on the outside, was so muddled on the inside it felt cramped and depressing. Now the house can breath again – it’s light and airy, the high ceilings and large open spaces give a sense of grandeur, the rooms flow beautifully. We’re still 2 months from move in but we already know that with Eilir and Dave’s help we have created our forever family home.

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