In 2005 Christopher Palmer Associates were commissioned to work with Edinburgh architects, Fletcher Joseph for a major redevelopment of Norton House Hotel set within 55 acres of grounds on the west side of Edinburgh.
Works included a new 36 bedroom extension designed by Fletcher Joseph to be a both a contemporary solution and yet complement the original B Listed 1840 mansion house and the creation of a health spa and conference centre within the Listed Walled Garden which had lain largely unused.
Planning considerations meant that the spa building could not project above the height of the perimeter walls and the architects solution was to set the spa below ground level with the single storey conference centre set above this. The upper level building is a modern representation of a walled garden glasshouse.
Christopher Palmer Associates role included commissioning a tree survey and working closely with Edinburgh City Council to agree on a policy of tree removals to create space for the bedroom extension and associated car park, design of the car park and all hard and soft landscaping associated with the bedroom extension and spa. Entrance to the spa and conference centre is provided through an existing narrow doorway in the boundary wall which then opens out dramatically to a colonnaded glass canopy walk across the garden to the conference centre entrance.
A new ‘orchard’ of ornamental cherry trees has been planted in the south west corner of the garden. Many of the original espalier apple and pear trees on the garden walls have been retained.
Changes in level in the spa garden were achieved with dry stone wall terraces leading from the garden level down to a lower terrace and formal reflecting pond outside the glazed wall to the spa swimming pool. The gardens are subtly lit at night to give dramatic effect when viewed from the spa swimming pool and conference centre.
Part of the spa roof was paved to provide outdoor terraces and part surfaced with a sedum lawn which helped to slow water run off and provided an attractive seasonally changing coloured surface in views from the upper floor bedrooms and from the conference centre.
The hotel was short-listed for the 2009 EAA Regeneration Awards and was AA Hotel of the Year Scotland 2010
Client:Hand Picked Hotels
Architect: Fletcher Joseph, Edinburgh
Engineers: Blyth & Blyth, Edinburgh
Main Contractor: Ogilvie Construction
Quantity Surveyors: Faithful and Gould
Lighting Engineers: RYBKA