The Alice Hawthorn

Commercial & Leisure

Location: Nun Monkton, North Yorkshire

Architect: De Matos Ryan

Structural engineer: Price Myers

Main contractor: GEM Construction

Structural Timber Frame: Timber Workshop

Wood supplier: East Brothers

Cladding & Windows: Lee & Micklethwaite

Project manager: Russell Pickering

MEP Services: P3r

Species: Douglas fir (UK), Larch (Siberia), poplar plywood (Spain)

Photograph: ©HuftonCrow

“This is modest architecture in a highly achieved manner, with everything thought through carefully. It achieves the desired agricultural character, but this is an agricultural building with a level of sophistication never seen before. The result is a series of delightful buildings where all the judges who saw the project would love to stay.”
– Ruth Slavid

Nun Monkton was an important l hub for the medieval river transport network, with many travellers stopping overnight. In recent years, the village’s last remaining pub, a critical meeting point for the local community, had come under threat. This community led project transforms the pub’s sustainability with the addition of twelve guest bedrooms, eight of which are of an entirely timber frame construction around a new courtyard. The design takes its inspiration from the Norse ‘garth’ (‘grassy cloister’ or ‘clearing in the woods’), creating a sense of quiet enclosure and a notional extension of the village green: a place of gathering. The scheme also reflects the character of the various informal farmsteads that surround the green. The home-grown Douglas fir framed buildings use authentic agricultural building materials, such as galvanised corrugated steel roofing and larch cladding, to create the sense that the animals have only recently moved out. A simple timber frame construction typology was adopted to reflect ‘The way it is built, is the way it looks’. The double member ‘cloister’ columns engage galvanised feet sat on cast concrete upstands. Externally, a single layer of tight-grained larch cladding has been used, while internally there is a sarking layer of fireshield poplar ply. Subtle distinctions between the timber species are blurred by a tinted treatment.