In 2009 Christopher Palmer Associates were commissioned to work with architects, James Denholm Partnership for a major redevelopment of the frontage of the Crieff Hydro Hotel, including a new arcaded lobby reception.
The reorganisation of the frontage involved a major reworking of the hotel grounds with re-organised car-parking and rejuvination of over-mature landscaping to allow the creation of a new granite paved pedestrian priority forecourt where previously there had been congested car parking heavily overshaded by sombre conifer trees, detracting from the arrival experience at the hotel which had opened as a purpose built spa hotel in 1868 as the Crieff Hydropathic Establishment.
Christopher Palmer Asociates worked closely with the hotel Estate Manager and Perth & Kinross Council tree officer to agree on a policy of tree removal and restocking. An advance contract was let to a tree surgery company with tree removals aimed at taking out over-mature and inappropriate species to open up views. With the hotel overlooking Strathearn from an elevated position above Crieff, analysis of views into and out of the hotel was undertaken to consider the impact of tree removals and the opportunity to open views which had become lost. Choice of replacement tree species was discussed with the tree officer and where space permits includes long lived species such as redwoods to safeguard the legacy of fine trees within the hotel grounds.
Granite paving at the frontage had to be designed to cope with heavy vehicles including coaches, fire engines and the hotels tractor mounted snow plough.
A change in level at the hotel frontage gave the opportunity to build decorative dry stone retaining walls with inbuilt south and west facing seating and Christopher Palmer Palmer Associates worked closely with Perth based sculptor and waller David Wilson who designed and built the walls. He also built the new granite cascade water feature which replaced an earlier pool & fountain. Niches within the walls are soon to receive stone sculptures also carved by David.
Soft landscaping has seen the introduction of new shrub and herbaceous borders, conifer and rockery heather beds and many replacement trees including a pleached lime hedge between the hotel tennis courts and new frontage. Where a hotel and lodges are booked for 12 months a year planting with all round seasonal interest is very important.
Client:Crieff Hydro Hotel
Architect: James Denholm Partnership
Engineers: Allan Gordon & Co