Competition winning entry for Exeter University

Dexter Moren Associates have won an invited design competition for a residential conference and leisure facility for the University of Exeter. The winning scheme will be set within the grounds of an eighteenth century mansion house which will be converted and integrated with the proposed new building.

The scheme will include conferencing and banqueting facilities for up to 350 persons, with 80 bedrooms to 4-star standard. A health and leisure club with indoor swimming pool was designed as part of the complex.

The governing concept is to create a suitable backdrop to the existing grade II listed mansion. The project is set on a hill with numerous mature trees and landscaping and features panoramic views to the distant Devonshire landscape. The conference and residential aspect of the facility is sited to maximise the views, while the health and leisure club will be built within the confines of an existing secluded walled garden.

Each hotel room features a balcony + wardrobe configuration, which maximises the feeling of spaciousness while affording a generous vista. The balconies are set into the rendered facade to create a rhythm with sympathetic proportions to the historical mansion. Curved elements of the exterior will be finished in timber cladding.

The heritage site will house the hotel reception, a bar and restaurant, with feature wine cellar, as well as several executive suites utilising the setting of the existing historical interiors.