Farnham Estate, Co. Cavan, comprises over 1,300 acres of historic woodlands with Farnham House, dating from 1802, and it's surrounding designed landscape, at the heart. The client’s brief was to transform it into a luxury resort hotel, including the restoration of Farnham House to create public reception rooms and guest suites; 150 new bedrooms; a destination wellness spa; and a state of the art conference centre facility.
The principal design challenge was the insertion of large new building elements into the context of the Protected Structure, its outbuildings and the historic landscape, without detracting from the inherent character of the setting and the overall demesne. This was achieved by breaking down the building into smaller constituent elements which were arranged sensitively around the site, and juxtaposed with the historic building fabric and the established landscape features in order to minimise the impact of the new building and set up dynamic relationships between new and old.
The interior fitting out, inspired by the buildings’ arcadian setting, achieves a sumptuous blend of modernity and tradition, with use of daylighting and framed views linking the interior inextricably with the surrounding landscape.
The project was designed by Peter Nickels whilst Associate Director at Gilroy McMahon Architects and was awarded Best Commercial Building of the Year by the Local Authority Management Association.