Heckfield Place is a stunning example of how architectural ironmongery can complement both a heritage restoration and new build in one project. Representing the pinnacle of luxury, this hotel has a staggering 32 awards and nominations under its belt since its much-anticipated opening and received significant press attention for its many Royal and celebrity guests.
The 430-acre Heckfield Place Estate in Hampshire consists of an 18th Century manor house and newly constructed buildings styled to complement the Georgian manor providing 51 rooms and suites, a garden mews, private cottages, two restaurants, cinema screening room and luxury spa. As with many Grade II listed heritage projects we have been fortunate enough to be involved with, there was a requirement for a number of bespoke elements to meet the constraints of the existing and retained features to satisfy English Heritage. As a project, it had many complex elements that called for unique architectural ironmongery solutions that proved both challenging and rewarding to execute.
The project itself started in 2009 and took a staggering 9 years to complete – largely down to the client’s exacting and meticulous standards with the aim of creating 51 completely unique bedrooms and suites whilst providing a 6* experience for the hotel’s clients.
At the time of engaging with the architect, Spratley & Partners and contractors – Operis/Goodman Hichens to develop an ironmongery specification, one key point of the brief was for the ironmongery to closely retain the original design, finish and character of the existing Georgian manor house which resulted in the real bronze furniture and matching finish accessories being selected to naturally patinate over time, whilst we also had to work around the constraints of the existing doors, frames and mortices.
We were contracted as architectural ironmongers to supply door furniture in line with the listed building requirements, advise on what existing door hardware could be retained and supply new ironmongery to the new build areas, under direction of the architects, Spratley & Partners and Operis Contractors.
Across the estate, real bronze levers, knobs and pull handles were used appropriately to be in keeping with the original manor house.
The pull handles to all communal areas were to be identical to the existing ones, so we removed one of the original pull handles from site and used this as a casting to perfectly reproduce exact replicas for both the manor house and ancillary buildings that formed the new-build contingent of this project.
Within bedroom entrances throughout, we developed a bespoke knob mounted onto a stepped backplate, fixed dead on the outside face with a half set of lever handles on the inside. There is a concealed wall mounted fob reader adjacent to the door, which disengages the electric strike to allow access. The internal lever handle operates a night latch which overrides the electric strike to allow egress. Many of the bedroom entrance door leaves were retained with fire upgrade works undertaken to achieve a 30 minute fire rating so we ensured all ironmongery supplied met with the fire rating requirement and was compliant.
A fully co-ordinated window ironmongery range was supplied to all casement and sash windows throughout the project, consisting of a combination of custom manufactured casement fasteners and custom sliding casement stays, modified and reduced from 300mm to 150mm to suit the very narrow existing windows within the manor house in conjunction with sash window hardware.
Within the new build areas in the courtyard, little bothy spa and garden mews, there is a flair of modern elements with a heritage aesthetic such as the rustic sliding door gear specified in conjunction with custom bronze flush pulls designed by the client and manufactured to their specifications.
The external doors were all operated by lever furniture on bespoke backplates to fit within the narrow stile glazed door sizings.
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