London-based firm Carmody Groarke has been selected to design a standalone hotel suite on Burgh Island, a tidal island on the South Devon coast. Commissioned by Burgh Island Ltd, the owners of the site's eponymous Grade-II listed art deco hotel, the new standalone "Pool House" suite sits atop the island's cliffs offering customers generous views of the Bantham Estuary and the hotel’s Mermaid Pool, an outdoor seawater pool and private beach for hotel guests.
The design for was selected after an invited competition conducted by the RIBA involving 15 architectural firms, with shortlisted teams including dRMM, Featherstone Young, and Threefold Architects also submitting proposals. However, Carmody Groarke's design, developed with help from structural engineers Price & Myers, was ultimately chosen for its "poetic response that would make a positive contribution to the landscape and drama of the setting, whilst providing an appropriately unforgettable and luxurious experience for guests."
"This is a dream project - a luxury retreat in a breath-taking coastal setting!" Explained Jonathan McDowell of McDowell+Benedetti, who acted as the RIBA Architect Adviser for the contest. "The client deserves great credit for choosing the competition process for a relatively small private project and has been rewarded with an intriguing variety of schemes from the shortlisted teams, selected from a strong long list of both established and emerging practices. The winning design will create a restrained but sensuously uplifting place for guests to take delight in this stunning location."
Owners of the hotel Tony Orchard and Deborah Clark took care to stress their commitment to the island landscape, adding: "Knowing the sensitivity and exposure of the location, we spent a year before the start of the competition in technical appraisal, involving a structural engineer and a major feasibility study by Hyder Consulting. Even though this is a relatively small project, we were excited by the interest it generated amongst some of the best architectural practices in the country. RIBA was meticulous in its advice on every step... The hotel itself was in the avant-garde when first built and we see this new project as a 21st century complement to it."