RIBA South West 2018
RIBA South West Project Architect of the Year
RIBA Judges comments:
The Temple Inn was a disused pub at the historic heart of Temple Cloud: This development has restored and reopened the pub and provided ten hotel rooms and nine houses around a communal landscape, bringing new life to the village centre and demonstrating that contemporary architecture, inspired by the vernacular, can achieve design which feels rooted in place without resort to pastiche.
The disparate elements of the scheme work successfully together to address the particular challenges of the site, both in terms of setting and financial viability: The busy A37, immediately adjacent, creates a hostile environment at the western perimeter – locating the hotel rooms in a simple barn-like two storey block on this frontage shields the site, with rooms oriented to the community garden within.
A simple two and three storey terrace of five houses frames the garden whilst a pair of south facing, semi-detached three storey houses addresses Temple Inn Lane. At the heart of the site a historic barn has been converted to provide a further pair of houses. Cars are exiled to north and south in gravelled parking courts which will ultimately be screened from the communal landscape by hedges.
Through careful negotiation with the planners, the architect has achieved a scheme which draws on the historic morphology and detail of the village, interpreting traditional form and fenestration to create a unique and innovative response.
The tradition of brick reveals to rubble elevations and dressed stone surrounds to brick cottages is updated in the stretcher bonded brick reveals to the guest room windows (echoing the converted barn) and the crisp, projecting cast stone surrounds used across the new houses which provide articulation and a subtle contrast to the tweedy stock brick elevations.
The three modules of precast ‘picture frames’ dance playfully across the elevations rather than rigidly adhering to a grid and break the eaves to form major and minor dormers, echoing the informality of the historic context. Generous recessed front doors create depth in the elevations and downpipes are set in brick recesses. Internally the units are capacious, opening to roof spaces and seizing opportunities to create variety.
Almost opposite on Temple Inn Lane is another new development of reconstituted stone, fake Victorian cottages with stick-on, pitched roof porches and rendered window surrounds. This, more than anything else, amplifies the delight of the bold, robust and intelligent contemporary architecture of Temple Gardens.
Photographer: Andy Tye