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54 PROJECT REPORT: HERITAGE & CONSERVATION


building: “There are end corridor suites, it’s double aspect with a central corridor, and there are garret rooms within the mansard roof.” In addition, it’s “very rationally planned at ground floor in terms of back of house areas as well as guest rooms on the upper storeys.” Twohey adds: “There’s no need for it to be complex, we’ve all got lost in hotels, let’s face it! It gives the client operational efficiencies that look right because they are right.” Importantly, given the overall design goal of paying homage to the original building, he confirms: “You never get the impression that you’re in an extension, it has already established a sense of place.”


Colonnade & other additions One of the major pieces of design ingenuity employed by ReardonSmith in the masterplan was to resolve the issue of access to the new five-storey West Wing using creative as well as appropriate design. The result is a new open stone-built colonnade that connects the manor house to the West Wing guest bedrooms, offering guests a dramatic sense of arrival, and a means of avoiding having to use the 1989 building in order to access the new ballroom and function rooms.


All images © Paul Lehane PROJECT FACTFILE


Lead architect: ReardonSmith Landscape architect: ReardonSmith Landscape


Conservation architect: Consarc Interior designers: Richmond International and Kim Partridge MEP: Arup


Project manager: John Kestell Main contractor: John Paul Construction


Structural engineer: Punch Completed: April 2018


In terms of a planning solution, making a pedestrian covered access in parallel to the linking corridor in the original building that let to the 1989 extension was the key that “let the building plan breathe and flow,” says Twomey. He says it “unlocked the pinchpoints” and while admitting the architects didn’t achieve it first time, “they got very close and then honed the idea”. The new colonnade also closes the cloister garden between it and the original ‘Clock Tower wing’ along the river, while being “sympathetic to its massing.” The colonnade’s stone arches with engaged column details and vaulted ceilings are enhanced and picked out by sensitive lighting. However, despite some historical allusions, it is distinguished by a restrained amount of detailing as part of the original undertaking to the local authorities. A further addition which might not normally receive as much design attention is the new gatehouse, a new ornate stone building in keeping with the manor. “It really sets the tone for the guest experience, signalling this is a grand estate”. Two other new buildings take a more transparent approach – the stone, timber and glass Carriage House clubhouse restaurant emulates a conservatory with extensive glazing, and the similarly


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constructed ‘halfway house’ (serving refreshments to golfers between the ninth and tenth greens), is also designed to blend outside and inside.


Restoration


The restoration of the manor house itself, while requiring “careful surgery” to bring so many historic fixtures and fittings up to current standards, was undertaken by Conservation Architect Consarc, albeit under ReardonSmith’s oversight. This consisted of cleaning repairing and replacing stonework, including 52 chimneys, which had been exposed to the Irish weather for around 170 years. A total of 365 historic windows were repaired, firestopping was installed above fibrous plaster ceilings, and original timber floor boards were replaced over a new acoustic insulation system.


As well combining eight guestrooms with other rooms to make new suites, 63 guestrooms and suites were refurbished, and two lifts were introduced to make the building fully accessible. The building contains many historical artworks ranging from tapestries to carvings, which were restored and replaced, enhancing the grandeur of guestrooms and circulation spaces in a way that was “honest to materials and finishes”.


Conclusion


The final cost of all works was approximately £110m excluding the golf course, which seems good value given the scale of what was done, coupled with meeting the client’s exacting aspirations for a high standard of craftsmanship and workmanship. Says Twomey, “normally budget is an impediment, but in this case, although it was a challenge, the client knew what they wanted and always upheld the highest design and quality sensibility.” The client themselves is reported to be happy with the result, and the extended resort has won several travel since completion. Colm Hannon, CEO of Tizzard Holdings comments: “A profound attention to detail has underpinned every decision along the way, and passion for quality craftsmanship is evident in every new building.” He concludes: “Adare Manor is now the odds-on favourite to be awarded the honour of hosting the 2026 Ryder Cup.” Rather than add a ‘statement’ building, ReardonSmith has made a different statement here – that major heritage renovation can have architectural merit precisely by emulating the best of the past rather than competing with it. 


ADF SEPTEMBER 2018


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