Deborah Berke Partners transforms historic insane asylum into boutique hotel
Guests can stay overnight in former patients' rooms at this late 19th-century building constructed as a mental hospital, which New York studio Deborah Berke Partners has partially restored and redesigned as a hotel.
Architects: BKK Architects
Builder: Aspekt Construction Group
Landscape: John Patrick Landscape
Services: NJM Consulting
Building Surveyor: Group II
Traffic and Waste: Cardno
ESD: Urban Digestor
DDA: Nick Morris Access Consulting
Mondrian-inspired new build in Somerset
Words: Ben Webb, Photography: Mark Bolton
When Max and Diana Aiken spotted a drab Fifties bungalow on a tricky plot of sloping land in the greenbelt near Bath, Somerset, they visualised a very different building – a Modernist light-filled and imaginative two-storey dwelling. The interior, too, would be creative and contemporary. ‘We wanted spaces not rooms, divisions not walls, and vertical and horizontal surfaces to display art, sculpture and ceramics,’ recalls Diana.
It was an ambitious plan. The new-build had to comply with key planning issues that meant it could be no higher or larger in volume than the existing unprepossessing bungalow. The couple also wanted it to fit happily in its rural surroundings. The solution was to build a steel and timber-framed house over multiple floor levels that is clad in frake hardwood, which, over time, turns a subtle silvery grey like the lias limestone of local buildings.