Landscape key to European-style 'medi-spa' design

Broadway Malyan submits plans for health and wellness retreat in Surrey countryside.

The vision for Gatton Manor. Image: Broadway Malyan
The vision for Gatton Manor. Image: Broadway Malyan

The woodland landscape of a Surrey hotel and golf club has been a key influencer in the design of a ‘medi-spa’ health and wellness retreat by multidisciplinary practice Broadway Malyan.

Proposals submitted to planners for the 70-hectare Gatton Manor in Ockley include remodelling the landscape to hide part of the building and a facade chosen to complement the site’s native trees.

Inspired by European medi-spas that aim for holistic wellness by focusing on prevention versus cure with buildings designed to bring people closer to nature, the proposal will see the original farmhouse replaced by the main medi-spa building. There will also be the development of a new sports pavilion to support an improved golf course and a staff quarters. Broadway Malyan is responsible for both building and landscape architecture on the site.

Director Joe Witchell said that the design objective had been to create a development that subtly reflected its woodland setting whilst fulfilling the technical requirements of the medi-spa brief.

He said: "This is an incredibly exciting project. Our client aspires to create a retreat that offers an exceptional guest experience through a contemporary architectural design that is embedded in this unique landscape setting.

"Our concept uses carefully selected materials and repeating architectural elements to create a very strong linear design that contrasts well with the undulating land form. This results in the main building appearing to touch the ground lightly.

"The support buildings of the sports pavilion and the staff accommodation complement the landscape using the same palette of materials inspired by the site’s clay soil and the nearby woodlands but with different architectural approaches."

The façade is designed to relate to the ancient woodland setting and features copper cladding and fins that are reminiscent of the tree trunks and branches. The upper levels, which contain the guest suites, are grounded by a heavier brick base of the clinical and fitness wing.

As part of the proposals, the land separating medi-spa from the golf course would be remodelled, using excavated ground, so that only the upper floors of the development were visible from the approach drive and to better define the public rights of way which cross the site.

The proposals are due to be considered by Mole Valley District Council this spring.

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