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Imagine the conversation. The client says” I’ve seen this really beautiful hotel – I think we should do something like it for our next one. Go and look at it, its in Avignon”. An hotel in Avignon, placed against the walls of a former Popes palace, seems an unlikely source of reference for a contemporary hotel in a business park on the outskirts of Leeds in England’s north east.

The designer sighed and reluctantly leaped into her Jaguar sports car and drove through France to spend the weekend there – all tax deductible research of course – God its hard being a designer sometimes… pressure, pressure, pressure…

The moors are visible from the Yorkshire hotel, and their gritty exposure contrasts with the sunlight and heat of the Mediterranean town the hotel design team drew inspiration from. The suggestion by Ian Harkness to Jane Goff was a piece of inspiration, which has been married to the Shire Hotels operational model with flair and imagination on both sides.

Bedrooms feature timber headboards - rollover for another example
Bedrooms feature timber headboards - rollover for another example

Externally the quality of the architecture is high (rollover for detail), with thoughtful detailing and the planting of lavender to create interest in the approach. The designers have set the windows and the interiors almost like a curtain less stage so that before entering the hotel there are views of the interiors, particularly at first floor level. The approach to the building is through hedges of lavender, another Harkness inspiration, which scents and creates a reminiscence of France.
Externally the quality of the architecture is high (rollover for detail), with thoughtful detailing and the planting of lavender to create interest in the approach. The designers have set the windows and the interiors almost like a curtain less stage so that before entering the hotel there are views of the interiors, particularly at first floor level. The approach to the building is through hedges of lavender, another Harkness inspiration, which scents and creates a reminiscence of France.

Externally the quality of the architecture is high, with thoughtful detailing and the planting of lavender to create interest in the approach. The designers have set the windows and the interiors almost like a curtain less stage so that before entering the hotel there are views of the interiors, particularly at first floor level. The approach to the building is through hedges of lavender, another Harkness inspiration, which scents and creates a reminiscence of France

As with others of Shire Hotels previous new builds the entrance does not take one into a major space, but rather envelopes the guest in the building, with doorways and openings giving views right through the building, teasing the eye and enticing you in. There is the trade mark log fire to welcome, something that will no doubt be appreciated in the hard northern winters, with logs selected for scent rather than heat as of course the building is fully air conditioned. This is the fourth new build this team have created together, and the plan has been honed to high efficiency. Each hotel has achieved a unique feel despite this, with the style evolving from the standard set by the late-lamented Bob Lush at the North Lakes Gateway, Penrith.

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