项目位于伦敦郊区历史悠久的De Vere Theobalds庄园内，庄园内一些最古老的部分可以追溯到十五世纪末期。项目酒店所在的豪宅建于1763年，现已被列为国家二级保护建筑。在过去，庄园主们通常以整合的方式来管理土地与资源。受到前人智慧的启发，Birch酒店致力于融入周围环境，并开发出一条以自然为主导的，从庄园产品到餐饮的完整产业链。Birch的管理者认为传统的酒店模式与陈旧的室内装潢，已经不再能满足当今不断变化的市场需求。
Inspired by the resourcefulness of the past, where old estates used to manage their resources and land holistically, Birch spaces aim to work with their environments as much as possible, from estate-made produce to nature-led restaurants. Some of the oldest parts of the estate date back to the 15t h-century, while the mansion house itself was built in 1763. Now a Grade II*-listed building, the existing rooms were what you would expect from a traditional hotel, which Birch felt no longer met the needs of today’s changing market.
▼酒店外观，appearance of the Birch hotel © Adam Firman
项目由Red Deer事务所与酒店创始人Chris King和Chris Penn共同设计完成。改造后的Birch酒店将颠覆人们对传统酒店的刻板印象，彰显出全新的生活模式，成为新一代年轻人的世外桃源。项目旨在挑战传统酒店千篇一律的室内风格与空间浪费。Red Deer事务所深入研究了Birch酒店现有的资源，并把它们纳入改造方案中。例如，在先前的翻新中，接待大厅地毯下面的地板被用白色油漆编号，设计师并没有将这些痕迹覆盖住，而是将其暴露出来，使其成为室内装饰的一部分。这种手法，将酒店的历史与发展过程悉数展示在人们眼前。
Designed in collaboration with Birch founders Chris King and Chris Penn, the new lifestyle hotel sees the former De Vere Theobalds Estate hotel totally reimagined as an escape from urban living, where everything you think you know about traditional hotel life is turned on its head. Red Deer was also adamant that traditional tendencies towards wastefulness and uniformity were challenged throughout the hotel. As part of this process, Red Deer looked at how they could work with what already existed at Birch. For example, the floorboards underneath the carpet in the reception area were numbered in white paint from a previous renovation. Rather than cover the marks Red Deer exposed them and celebrated the evolution, with the painted numbers becoming part of the decorative features in the room.
▼接待大厅概览，overall of the reception © Adam Firman
▼接待大厅地板上留有白色的油漆编号，the floor of the reception was numbered with white paint © Adam Firman
▼接待台， the reception desk © Adam Firman
▼接待台与储物架细部，detail of the reception desk and the shelf © Adam Firman
Red Deer approached the renovation with an inspiring touch of lightness, setting out to only intervene where it counted, reusing and repairing the existing site’s materials, and stripping back clutter and unnecessary furniture to create more thoughtful spaces.
▼公共休息室，the public living room © Adam Firman
▼公共休息室内设有壁炉，fire place in the public living room © Adam Firman
“We wanted to take a light touch on the existing features and celebrate the Georgian building,” says Ciarán O’Brien, co-founder of Red Deer. “The building created a really strong backdrop, so we looked at each space from the point of what already existed. Any intervention within a space needed to work with that, and once you build that design story it allows us to imagine how that room will operate.”
▼放映厅，cinema room © Adam Firman
Taking inspiration from the Japanese craft of kintsugi, where broken pottery is highly visibly repaired using gold-dusted lacquer, the plan going forward is to carry through the same philosophy to anything that can be mended: “As something breaks, it can be fixed rather than replaced, telling a new story whilst treating both the breakage and repair as part of the history of the place, rather than something to disguise.”
▼宴会厅保留了建筑的历史痕迹，the ballroom retains the historical traces of the building © Adam Firman
▼翻修后的古典餐厅，classic dining room after renovation © Adam Firman
▼餐厅包厢，private dining room © Adam Firman
In today’s social climate kintsugi’s potential to resonate with hotel guests is considerable. As a hotel offering an escape from the city, and all the pressures of perfectionism in modern-day living, the idea that “flaws” should be appreciated is compelling.
▼现代风格的餐厅与厨房迎合当代消费者需求，modern restaurants and kitchens cater to the needs of contemporary consumers © Adam Firman
Red Deer believe Birch to be an example of how hospitality projects should be approached, considering a long-term commitment to sustainability within a renovation or new build as a crucial component of architectural design.
▼楼梯间的柱头采用金继工艺修补，the stigma is repaired by kintsugi in the staircase © Adam Firman
▼走廊，hallway © Adam Firman
The bedrooms have been stripped of attention-grabbing TVs and work-orientated desks to remove the pressures of daily life, and filled instead with warm well-crafted furniture and locally made artwork to offer a calm space in which to switch off and unwind.
▼套房内的客厅，living room of the suite © Adam Firman
▼客房与温暖的定制家具与本地手工艺术品，bedroom with warm well-crafted furniture and locally made artwork © Adam Firman
▼卫生间，the restroom © Adam Firman
为了迎合自然为本的理念，Red Deer事务所邀请了当地艺术家与手工业者参与到项目中。对Red Deer事务所而言，Birch酒店内的家具不应该是量产的工业制品，而应该是一系列独特且舒适实用的艺术品。其中最具代表性的家具作品是由Jan Hendzel工作室设计定制的多功能衣架。
With the Birch ethos placing such an emphasis on the collaborative creative nature of the space, Red Deer felt it crucial to bring local artists and makers on-board to work on the interior projects and create some truly unique pieces to be enjoyed by the guests, challenging the idea that uniformity was essential for large batch runs of furniture.
▼由Jan Hendzel工作室设计定制的多功能衣架，bespoke valet stand manufactured by Jan Hendzel Studio © Fergus Coyle
▼多功能衣架单体，bespoke valet stand © Fergus Coyle
这个衣架融合了多名艺术家的心血，由几个部分组成，包括由利用可持续材料进行创作的设计师Charlotte Kidger制作的再生塑料球，陶艺师Emma Louise Payne的质感花瓶以及金属匠Lucie Naujalis手工打造的铜碗。该作品是对空间中色彩、纹理与细部三大要素的抽象与完美展现。
The most prominent of these pieces is a bespoke valet stand manufactured by Jan Hendzel Studio, utilising recycled plastic orbs by sustainable material designer Charlotte Kidger, textured vases by ceramicist Emma Louise Payne and hand-beaten copper bowls by metalsmith Lucie Naujalis. In a space where colour, texture and detail take centre stage, the valet stand is a wonderful demonstration of all three.
▼多功能衣架融合了多名艺术家的心血，upper part of the bespoke valet stand combines the work of several artists © Fergus Coyle
▼木制支架细部，detail of the wooden stand © Fergus Coyle
▼由利用可持续材料进行创作的设计师Charlotte Kidger制作的再生塑料球，recycled plastic orbs by sustainable material designer Charlotte Kidger © Fergus Coyle
▼陶艺师Emma Louise Payne的质感花瓶，textured vases by ceramicist Emma Louise Payne © Fergus Coyle
▼金属匠Lucie Naujalis手工打造的铜碗，hand-beaten copper bowls by metalsmith Lucie Naujalis © Fergus Coyle
Project Birch (handle.silk.comet)
Size 140 bedrooms / 55 acres Location Cheshunt, Hertfordshire Year August 2020
Photography Adam Firman / Fergus Coyle