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The Lion Inn Restaurant and Hotel, Chelmsford

Client: English Auberge Ltd

This is the third commission from a local restaurant entrepreneur. The starting point was a tired timber frame Essex pub with no redeeming features. From this kernel we generated a large restaurant and bar together with a small boutique hotel.

The success of the project lies within the integration of landscape and the new buildings. Built around a landscape courtyard, the new building is constructed almost entirely of oak above a brick plinth with some render creating an entirely new entrance axis. The large building melds into this landscape as if it has always been there.

The original project was completed in 2008. Subsequently we are now embarked on Phase II, which consists of increased hotel accommodation and banqueting suite, café and other supporting facilities. This expansion follows the precedence of the original scheme with planning in both senses of the word; subtle choice of materials and excellent landscaping. Completion is due in 2015.