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Carmody Groarke wins again after scooping Burgh Island jackpot


Carmody Groarke has won an invited competition for a standalone hotel suite on Burgh Island near Bigbury-on-Sea in South Devon – its third victory in five months

Dubbed the ‘Pool House’, the project will create a new suite on a dramatic headland near the island’s existing Grade II-listed Art Deco hotel.

The London practice – working with Price & Myers – defeated a shortlist which included dRMM, Threefold Architects and Featherstone Young Architects to win the RIBA-organised contest.

The announcement comes less than a month after Carmody Groarke landed the high-profile competition for a new £1.3 million members’ room at the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum in London.

The studio also won a contest for a new £4 million temporary exhibitions gallery inside Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry in September. 

The full Burgh Island shortlist

  • Carmody Groarke (with consulting structural engineers Price & Myers)
  • de Rijke Marsh Morgan Architects (dRMM) (with Michael Hadi Associates)
  • Featherstone Young Architects (with Techniker)
  • Threefold Architects (with TALL Consulting Structural Engineers)

Studio co-founder Andy Groarke said: ‘We are delighted to be selected for this important opportunity to work with Burgh Island Hotel and to carefully integrate a new architectural addition into the natural and cultural history of this Island.’

Burgh Island shareholders Tony Orchard and Deborah Clark were supported in the judging process by RIBA Architect Adviser Jonathan McDowell of McDowell+Benedetti and landscape architect Mike Westley of Westley Design.

Orchard and Clark said: ‘Even though this is a relatively small project, we were excited by the interest it generated amongst some of the best architectural practices in the country. RIBA was meticulous in its advice on every step.

‘It was a great pleasure to be a part of this process; we are passionate about architecture, which is primarily why we own Burgh Island. The hotel itself was in the avant-garde when first built and we see this new project as a 21st century complement to it.’

McDowell added: ‘The client deserves great credit for choosing the competition process for a relatively small private project and has been rewarded with an intriguing variety of schemes from the shortlisted teams, selected from a strong long list of both established and emerging practices.

‘The winning design will create a restrained but sensuously uplifting place for guests to take delight in this stunning location.’

Carmody Groarke’s winning scheme – which overlooks the Bantham Estuary and the hotel’s seawater pool – was praised for its ‘poetic response’ to the dramatic setting.

The 10.5 hectare island is accesible twice a day when the tides allow visitors to reach the mainland via the hotel’s ‘Sea Tractor’.

Burgh Island

Burgh Island

Source: Image by Roger Knowles

The Mermaid Pool


Readers' comments (2)

  • The form of the new building is such that, from the sea, many will mistake it for another bit of the derelict WW2 military architecture scattered along the South Devon coast.

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  • Would be good to see a drawing of the winning entry. Strange how the winning entry only has 3 images shown, whilst Threefold have, well almost threefold this.
    If its biased on the authors part then going from the images I would have to agree that Threefolds entry is more aesthetically pleasing. However its impossible to compare entries when we only see two or three images compared to eight. More drawings please AJ!

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