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spa & wellness

Rockliffe Hall Spa Garden

xsite architecture were responsible for expanding the spa facilities at Rockliffe Hall Hotel with a £1m Garden Room for hotel guests, spa members and the public.

ROCKLIFFE Hall Hotel and Spa is a five red star luxury hotel located on the banks of the River Tees outside the village of Hurworth in the County Durham countryside. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, it has one of Europe’s best golf courses. The hotel and spa complex consists of

the Grade II listed Old Hall which dates back to the 18th century plus a modern extension incorporating a bedroom wing, as well as 50,000sq ft of spa and treatment facilities, which were installed for the hotel opening in November 2009 and are used by hotel guests, spa members and the general public. Whilst the spa facilities continued to be

hugely successful, with this level of demand came the need to look at how they might be further enhanced to create an external pool, together with an exclusive use spa area, which could be booked by parties of up to 20 people. The challenge for the architect was

therefore to combine both the elements of exclusivity with external bathing areas in a new, independent Garden Room building but in a way which would complement, and have respect for the Grade II listed adjoining building as well as the existing spa facilities. Sparc Studio of Putney came up with the

original concept and it was Newcastle-based xsite architecture’s responsibility to translate this into the finished product, also selecting and managing the building contractor. Local firm Wharton Construction was

awarded the contract after a competitive tender based on a 60:40 split of quality versus cost. xsite had worked with the contractor previously and knew its quality of workmanship would be high – a vital element within a five red star hotel setting. Work started on site in January 2015.

The design solution The new Garden Room is set down into the landscape from the Old Hall and its height and mass is very small and quiet in relation to the Old Hall building’s scale and size. Planting around it also helps it to blend into the landscape further reducing the impact on the view from the Old Hall. With a brief to provide additional

services to those offered in the existing spa facilities at the hotel, the new building contains heated loungers, relaxation beds and seats, a central sensory feature and also a south facing sauna with impressive views over the landscape. Externally, a curved wall, finished in a

combination of brickwork and render with feature blue brick bands and bronze rainscreen cladding complements the

render on the spa roof dome. Windows with deep reveals convey the depth of the enclosing wall, whilst the glazed elevation facing the landscape, in contrast benefits from full height bi-folding doors that can be opened to connect the building with the external decking and pool. The central focal point of the internal

layout is a combined fireplace and water feature with the internal layout radiating from this point. A roof lantern centred within the space provides more daylight into the building. The main hydrotherapy pool to the south

of the Garden Room has an infinity edge to create the illusion of being seated within the landscape and offers its users uninterrupted views out over the golf course and woodland areas.

Change without disruption The delivery of a significant construction project within the eyeline of an existing and fully operational hotel and spa represented a few challenges.


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