Makeover For Historic Pub

De Matos Ryan architects have transformed the Grade II listed Alice Hawthorn pub and restaurant using homegrown timber and sustainable design.

Named after a famous 19th Century racehorse, The Alice Hawthorn is the village of Nun Monkton’s last remaining pub. Close, collaborative consultations with Harrogate Borough Council and the local community informed the project’s design. After several years of neglect, it was important to save the pub from extinction. 

The scheme includes twelve en-suite guest bedrooms, four on the first floor of the pub and eight around a new courtyard, which extends the village green into the pub’s rear garden. The homegrown Douglas fir framed buildings use authentic agricultural building materials, such as galvanised corrugated steel roofing and larch cladding, to create the sense that the animals have only recently moved out. A simple and honest construction typology ensures that the project looks like the way it was built.

The new timber frame buildings include the sheds, field barn, stables and tack room. Double member ‘cloister’ columns engage stainless steel feet sitting on cast concrete upstands. Adjacent to the front gate, the Sheds is a single-storey infill building between existing brick outbuildings with two staff bedrooms and a bathroom. It is clad in larch with a pan-tile roof to match the outbuildings. The Field Barn is a south facing, twostorey structure with four guestrooms. The lower level is clad in larch while the upper level is sinusoidal galvanised steel. There are no windows to the north and west to prevent overlooking and light pollution to the neighbours. 

The Tack Room, a single-storey structure with a wheelchair accessible guestroom, sits adjacent to the west boundary and the Field Barn. It also provides shelter to the outdoor kitchen, pizza oven and pub garden bar. Adjacent to the east boundary, the Stables is a single-storey extension structure with three guest rooms. Both the Stables and the Tack Room are clad in larch with a sinusoidal galvanised steel roof and back wall

Internally, in contrast to traditional pub interiors, the newbuild elements have no plaster and are lined with larch boarding and poplar plywood. Subtle distinctions between the timber species are blurred by a tinted treatment. The only internal wall decorations are lino cut prints created by village primary school children, who have a vegetable patch at the rear of the garth.

Sustainability is at the heart of the project’s design. A ground source heat pump provides heating and hot water, supplied by bore holes and supported with high levels of non-combustible mineral wool insulation and airtightness to a standard higher than current Part L2A building regulations.

The timber frame buildings are naturally ventilated through use of high-level clerestory windows and rooflights on actuators. 

Solar gain is reduced by roof overhangs, which offer shading. LED and low energy lighting, as well as low volume water appliances, have been fitted throughout. The sustainable drainage system includes permeable paving and surface water attenuation tanks concealed below the pub garden. A challenge was to develop a one-hour fire resisting timber frame wall within 1m of the site boundaries. This was resolved by employing a fire resisting sheathing internally, thus avoiding carbon heavy blockwork.

On completion, the newbuild scored an EPC ‘A’ rating. Biodiversity has been improved on-site through extensive planting and habitat creation. The new courtyard is bounded by borders planted with native species, which also help screen the adjacent bedrooms. An orchard at the back of the site, which would have been typical of these plots in medieval times, is being re-established with fruit trees and will ultimately supply the pub’s kitchen.

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