Since opening in Autumn 2018, Heckfield Place has been recognised as one of the world’s finest hotels, winning awards that recognise the luxury and elegance that guests experience at this country house hotel.
Beneath the surface of this unique venue are a multitude of innovative structural engineering solutions devised by Clegg Associates. This has enabled the character of this Grade II Listed building to merge seamlessly with unique features such as an underground cinema, a state-of-the-art energy centre and modern spa facilities.
Learn more about this project in our brochure.
An Established Partnership
Clegg has been a key part of the team of experts brought together by Operis Construction Ltd to oversee the transformation of Heckfield Place, contributing structural engineering expertise from the initiation of this venture to its successful opening.
The journey to create a guest experience like no other within this 18th century Grade II Listed Georgian manor house began in 2009. Establishing a state-of-the-art hotel while retaining the original Georgian charm of this historic property and grounds meant that numerous engineering challenges had to be overcome.
While many original features remained, over time some aspects of the building had been modified using methods and materials that weren’t in-keeping with the new vision for Heckfield Place. Having previously been used as a training and conference centre, a combination of creative skill and technical engineering expertise was needed to transform a structure in need of extensive restoration.
One of the first challenges was the creation of an underground screening room. Creating this structurally sound – yet discreet – space was a real feat of engineering, with massive excavation required to construct a large underground basement with capacity for nearly 70 people.
To create a seamless link with the original house, this 35 metre by 30 metre space was constructed within 1.5 metres of the walls of the Listed structure. Clegg Associates ensured that the piling, excavation and construction of this space was completed with no risk to the integrity of the Listed building. This was done by co-ordinating the work of specialist piling and propping contractors to minimise and control the movement of the soil beneath the Georgian and Victorian foundations.
Beautiful interiors are a key feature of Heckfield Place, and each aspect of every room has been carefully planned. To create a range of room sizes that would meet guest requirements, internal walls were dismantled to create larger rooms inside the main hotel building. In some instances, up to four separate rooms were merged into one, requiring specific technical approaches to deconstruct then rebuild a structurally sound space.
An additional structural challenge arose to ensure that the cast iron baths installed in guest bathrooms wouldn’t overstress floors and ceilings. Clegg Associates planned and installed additional steelworks to secure the structural strength of each
individual room, without compromising the look and feel of the building interior or key original features.
Lakes, gardens, terraces and woods surround Heckfield Place. To ensure these beautifully restored grounds weren’t marred by the functional requirements of a 21st century hotel, an additional basement space was required for a very different reason. The creation of an Energy Centre, with space both above and below ground, allows for the efficient use of energy resources without interrupting the tranquil surroundings of Heckfield Place.
The Energy Centre blends the look and feel of an industrial building in an agricultural setting while housing a variety of energy solutions. With a timber clad barn-inspired structure above ground, a second excavation plan was carried out to provide functional basement space with numerous options for energy provision. Wood pellet fuelled boilers allow for green energy production. The Energy Centre also has the option of LPG boilers and even has oil-powered generators on standby, just in case. This tremendous versatility ensures that both environmental and efficiency considerations can be considered, as part of the overall facilities management of the hotel.
The resulting construction blends in seamlessly with its surroundings, supplying all the energy needs for the hotel without noise, vibration or other disturbance for hotel guests.
A spa space within the hotel has been created to provide a haven of calm for guests. To ensure comfort, peace and serenity within this space, room size was particularly important.
Several large rooms were converted into treatment rooms within a dedicated spa zone, created through a number of structural alterations in an area that was originally constrained both through height and a sloping foundation. An additional storey was constructed above the original rooms, requiring the construction of an external steel frame. The area was also expanded through lengthening a part-basement to create additional space.
Clegg Associates devised structural solutions to ensure alterations blend seamlessly with the original building structure. The resulting amenities are perfectly proportioned, providing guests with space to relax and exercise.
Our Partnership Continues
The final result of this collaboration with Heckfield Place and a range of high calibre partners is an aesthetically flawless experience for guests at an incredible hotel.
We are proud that our professional and client-centric approach has established a long-term partnership with Heckfield Place, and we’re delighted that our involvement continues, as additional features are provided for future guests at this world-leading venue.
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Our work in pictures