Aston Hall Hotel

Aston Hall Hotel is an imposing Grade II* listed 18th century former Country House set in substantial landscaped grounds.

This magnificent large, three storey, former Country House built in ashlar limestone with a Westmoreland slate roof by John Carr originally for Lord Holderness, was converted into a hotel in 1984.

Taken on as architect to Aston Hall Hotel, we were appointed to deliver a number of projects. Having prepared a ‘Master Plan’ to consider all areas of potential development we have carried out a number of projects on a rolling programme over a number of years.

We were asked to design a modern, contemporary styled building to sit comfortably against the listed building. Wanting to be respectful of the heritage building and site, the exterior design compliments the historic style with a limited palette of colours and materials, whilst the interior provides a bright, spacious and very modern open plan function room with dance floor area and the bar area, with its clean lines and mood lighting, provides a light contemporary feel.

The new ‘Virage Suite’ sits within the slope, facing away from the side elevation of the hotel, looking out over the stunning views with large glass windows and stone piers, which follow the architectural language of the original building, frame the views. The ‘roof’ slowly falls away to become part of the garden, with a structured terrace in-between to link the two buildings. This quiet contemplative courtyard garden, open to the elements, provides a picturesque space for relaxation whilst creating a physical and visual separation between the historic hotel building and the new building.

From the main hotel views remain uninterrupted and the front of the new building provides views of the open countryside. The glass entrance to the new building, has been designed with small terraces either side to provide overflow spaces.

The fully serviced catering kitchen and toilet facilities enable this new addition to be suitable for a number of different uses ranging from weddings to corporate events.

Barrow Hill Roundhouse

This Grade II listed Roundhouse at Barrow Hill is a unique example of 19th century railway architecture.

Constructed in the 1870’s this Grade II listed Roundhouse was saved from demolition by the Barrow Hill Engine Shed Society and is the only remaining operational Roundhouse in the United Kingdom.

The Roundhouse is a building of Special Architectural or Historic Interest with national significance, however the principal significance of the Engine Shed lies in its physical form and continual operation.

Our initial phase of the commission was to complete concept designs for improving visitor facilities. We undertook a Conservation Appraisal which included a Condition Survey and Options Appraisal to form the basis of an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Following a successful HLF application, we were delighted to have been selected from a number of architects to undertake the project.

The modern contemporary style includes improved visitor access and circulation, and incorporates a stunning new entrance which respects the history and architecture of the Roundhouse. There is a new Café with kitchen and toilet facilities, exhibition and archive rooms, as well as modern conference and corporate facilities. The shop, located in the office wing, is included on the visitor route through the Café  to the new interactive display areas that contains new exhibition features and new interpretation.

Wanting to be respectful of the industrial heritage of the site, the design compliments the historic style with a limited palette of materials and the changes make this rail maintenance facility an innovative venue for both railway-themed events and non-railway activities.

Hodsock Park

Hodsock Park is located in the North Nottinghamshire District of Bassetlaw. Once a much larger site, the 18th century Grade II house remains, although significantly altered from its original form.

We were commissioned to design an extension and undertake alterations to re-order part of the ground floor living accommodation.

An assessment of the site and the historic evidence demonstrated that there had been an orangery style addition to the west side of the main house some years earlier of a sizable structure. It was therefore reasonable to suggest that a modest development to the west side of the property would be acceptable as a reflection of historic precedent. We developed the preferred alternative and opened discussions with the local planning department and local conservation officers.

The original kitchen was long and narrow, and with doors at each end, functioned mainly as a corridor. The new extension provides a larger kitchen and utility room and maintains the existing points of connection and the former kitchen became a sitting room with a new external door. The original single storey utility room extension to the west of the property was demolished and replaced by a new larger extension and was constructed in facing brick and covered with a pantile roof to mirror the appearance of the outbuildings.

The new extension is single storey and was designed to replicate the architectural rhythm of the existing property. The walls were rendered over a low brick plinth to match the existing construction and finished with a stone capping over a low parapet wall to all sides. The flat roof was covered with a single ply membrane and the roof lantern with glazed sides and slate roof provides additional light in the spaces. The new doors and windows were black polyester powder coated metal frames which make a striking contrast against the white render.

Trinity Hospital Extension

Trinity Hospital

LABC Building Excellence Awards East Midlands 2016 WINNER

Trinity Hospital, Retford, is a Grade II listed Alms House in Retford. Trinity Hospital was established in 1671 with an endowment from the Will of Dr John Darrel of West Retford. He left his own property, Retford Hall, to provide accommodation and hospitality for 15 gentlemen, who were in a particular need.

That same hospitality is offered today within the Grade II Listed Alms houses on Hospital Road in Retford offering accommodation to 15 residents with a further unit for the Matron and there is a small Chapel centrally located within the main building.

This Victorian built, long, low shaped building with protecting wings and screen wall is typical of its time with Neo-Tudor brick and stone dressings. The central feature is a later addition, making it symmetrical, with the remodelled chapel block, tall chimney stacks and clock tower completed with Welsh slate roof and spire finial. The range of Gothic brick Almshouses, form three sides of a courtyard, with gable ends and stone mullions.

Carl is the retained architect for the Trinity Hospital Estate who own a number of properties in Retford and who have close links with Lincoln Cathedral. Following the success of a number of projects for the Estate, we were asked to review the Holy Trinity Hospital. The grade II listed building had limited social space for the residents and the brief was to provide a modern extension to the rear of the property to provide a meeting room/ visitor’s bedroom, accessible shower room and an activity room.

A number of proposals were prepared to evaluate the site and establish the most appropriate layout. The preferred design carefully respects the existing architecture of the Alms House and creates two distinct sides. A traditional courtyard reflecting the architectural language of the Alms House on the public side and a contemporary glazed façade, providing open and uninterrupted views into the garden.

On the courtyard side elevation, the extension was traditionally constructed using matching red brickwork with stone dressings and stone parapet, the courtyard is hard landscaped using stone flags and incorporates a water feature and raised beds.

The garden elevation is constructed in a contrasting contemporary style using a steel frame structure with large glazed façade, facing away from the existing hospital, allowing uninterrupted views of the stunning garden. The roof constructed in zinc, has a glazed roof light to the rear.

Internally the existing rear wall has been moved to provide a larger meeting room with accessible wc and small kitchenette.

Navvies Memorial Conservation

The Navvies Memorial

The Navvies Monument in Otley, on Church Lane, Otley is an important Grade II listed memorial to all the Navvies who built the railways of the United Kingdom.

The memorial is a replica of the north portal of the Bramhope Tunnel which runs for over 2 miles and was built for the Leeds & Thisk Railway between 1846 and 1849.

Over 2,000 men worked on the tunnel during its construction and once completed a monument was erected for the 23 men who lost their lives, the memorial is a replica of the north portal and records the names of the 23 navvies.

We are delighted and honoured to have been invited to undertake the repairs to the Navvies Memorial that commemorated those railway workers who died building local tunnels. It can be found in the churchyard of All Saints Parish Church, Otley, for which Carl is the church architect. Following a meeting with Otley Conservation Task Force.

Carl has assessed the condition of the monument and is currently undertaking a schedule of repair.

Historic Building Conservation

Blidworth Windmill

Blidworth Windmill is Grade II listed and is an important part of Nottinghamshire’s industrial landscape.

Unused for almost 100 years, the windmill is currently on the Nottinghamshire Buildings at Risk register. 

The Friends of Blidworth Mill are seeking new uses for the building, whilst assessing the ongoing maintenance to save the building from further decay.

Nottinghamshire Building Preservation Trust commissioned Soul Architects to undertake a building condition survey and prepare sketch proposals for a suitable new use in consultation with Barker Langham, who were commissioned to produce a development plan for the site.

Hotel Extension

West Retford Hotel

The West Retford Hotel is a Grade II listed 18th century former Georgian Mansion house and stables.

This magnificent large, three storey, former Manor House with two story symmetrical wings is built in a traditional Georgian style with red brick and stone string and the balanced windows in the main building are typical of the Georgian era.

The project brief was to provide the hotel a traditional styled extension with a modern interior that could be a multi-functioning space. The room needed to be large enough for a large reception, but also small enough to have the perfect ambiance whether you are enjoying an intimate dinner for two or a larger family meal.

Soul Architects were appointed to design a new contemporary restaurant extension to this fine hotel. The new extension is in a very sensitive location between the main building and stable block. Designed in an orangery style the new restaurant has been carefully detailed to follow the architectural style of the historic Mansion House. The new glass entrance is located within the curve of the original garden wall and provides a light contemporary touch that doesn’t compete with the main entrance.

The restaurant extension has allowed the hotel to open daily to both residents and non-residents. The light, spacious room with its sophisticated style adds a touch of class, as well as its neutral décor adding flexibility. The new glass entrance provides a lobby as well as a separate entrance for non-residents. The frameless glass has a contemporary feel that doesn’t compete with the original hotel porch. The choice of furniture provides flexible seating arrangements, which will work not only as a restaurant but as a function room or conference facility.

As well as natural light, mood lighting was added to allow the hotel to change the atmosphere depending on the event. A concealed AV System was incorporated into the design, with speakers in the ceiling and a ceiling mounted projector which allows the hotel to give presentations or hire the space for corporate events.

Following the success of this project we have been asked to look at other areas to develop for the client as well as further projects at their other hotel, Aston Hall.

Ringwood Hall

Ringwood Hall Hotel

Ringwood Hall Hotel is a Grade II listed former Georgian Manor and Coach House.

This Award Winning hotel is set in 29 acres of historic landscape on the edge of Chesterfield. The original building has been extended to provide further bedroom accommodation and a Leisure Centre was constructed.

Soul Architects were appointed to prepare a Conservation Management Plan for the buildings and the site. The plan was developed following the HLF guidelines and ensures that the historic value of the property and wider site is retained. Having full understanding of the site we were able to identify a number of opportunity sites including the conversion of a small Lodge building.

As a result we were commissioned to undertake the conversion of the Lodge into additional hotel accommodation. Having successfully gained full planning permission and listed building consent for the conversion of this property, the property now provides 4 luxurious en-suite bedrooms. The Lodge has helped to meet the need for quality accommodation in a more peaceful setting.

Our experience of working with Historic Buildings allowed us to successfully gain full planning permission and listed building consent for a marquee to be set within the gardens for their popular wedding business.

Following the success of these projects, we have been asked to explore other areas within the CMP for development and we have undertaken a number of conservation and repair projects for the hotel on a rolling programme of works.

North Leverton Windmill

North Leverton Windmill

North Leverton Windmill is Grade II* and is unique as it is one of a few Windmills in England that have always been in working order.

The mill was built in 1813 by a group of local farmers and has seen a number of changes, including in 2008 when the ownership of the Windmill transferred to a Charitable Trust.

In December 2009, the Windmill was confirmed as a Building at Risk and of great historical importance in need of protection by English Heritage. Carl was delighted to be selected from a number of accredited architects for the role of conserving this Windmill and saw the project through from survey to completion.

A survey of the mill highlighted a number of major repairs, including the removal of two of the sails, which revealed rotten timbers in the cap. The mill also needed tarring and painting and new windows adding to make it watertight.

A Millwright was appointed to make the four new sails. The cap was removed and the structural repairs completed using laminated timber to replace the shear beams. The cap was painted with a linseed oil based paint and the cap was lifted back into position returning this Windmill to its former glory.

Worksop Library Conservation

Worksop Library and Museum

This former Library and Museum is Grade II listed in the 1930s Art Deco Style.

We were commissioned by Bassetlaw District Council to undertake a Measured Survey of this Grade II listed Central Library and Museum and the immediate site.

We undertook a Conservation Management Plan, to understand the areas of significance, what matters and why, and how to conserve and manage it. This informed basis, plans were used to develop a programme of repair, restoration and proposals for change.

We undertook a Building Condition Survey to record the condition of the building, highlighting areas of failure or concern through written reports and annotated photographs, identifying the possible causes of the deterioration and our conservation recommendations.

We undertook an Options Appraisal to clarify the needs of the building, identifying a number of options, including approximate costs and end value. We used the report to assess the benefits and disadvantages before selecting a preferred option.

The conservation principles were developed with a view to Bassetlaw District Council securing an external operator for this building and incorporating these principles into any future tenancy agreements.

The Library was successful in securing an agreement with the Aurora Cancer Charity, for which Carl is now a Trustee and hopes to see major changes to the building over the next few years.

Following the commission of Worksop Central Library and Museum, Carl was asked to design a series of entrances to the Canch, the area in which the Library is located. This was part of a larger refurbishment and regeneration scheme by Bassetlaw District Council. The three entrances were designed taking into consideration the Art Deco Style of the original 1930’s Library.

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