New Light Hotels (Part of Swire Hotels)
The project comprises the refurbishment and development of the second of three hotels to be re-launched as a new brand. We have designed the reconfiguration of the Grade 2 listed former Eye hospital in Exeter to create a 59-bed hotel with restaurant, bar and spa. We have also designed interiors and commissioned artworks for the hotel.
The project is an amalgam of mini-projects including new buildings, extensions, repairs and alterations. We have sought to harness the Edwardian institutional character of the former eye hospital, whilst retaining and adding to the architectural ornament and detail that exists in the entrance lobby, meeting rooms, reception and south lounge. We have created contemporary spaces in the infill courtyard, the existing refurbished restaurant and to the new third floor, where glazed walls to the bedrooms command views out over the Devon countryside.
The storage and furniture layouts are specific to each of the 59 bedrooms. The bathrooms are also tailored to each room, whilst still retaining the coherence of the hotel’s identity.
The new infill courtyard dissolves the boundary between the hotel interior and the garden. Using rooflights and sliding glass doors as the envelope, the slate flooring of the external terrace flows in from the garden. The courtyard terrace forms an outdoor room with the new spa and pool as a backdrop, with formal planting to the remaining two sides. The new brick buildings of the spa and health suite relate to the scale of the existing 18th-century laundry building; all three are connected by the new Oval Path to the garden perimeter. The path encloses a lawn for guests and provides a pleasant backdrop to the restaurant and courtyard terraces.
2013 Food & Travel Magazine Readers Award: City Hotel of the Year: Winner