The Alice Hawthorn wins three RIBA Regional Awards | Sustainable model

The winner of three 2022 RIBA Regional Awards, The Alice Hawthorn by De Matos Ryan is an exemplary sustainable business

The Alice Hawthorn, a heritage-listed pub at the heart of village life in Nun Monkton in Yorkshire, is recognised for its sustainable redevelopment as it earns a triple win at the RIBA Regional Awards.

Transformed by De Matos Ryan, The Alice Hawthorn was awarded a 2022 RIBA Yorkshire Award, and the practice was also honoured with two special awards for the project: the RIBA Yorkshire Sustainability Award and the RIBA Yorkshire Client of the Year Award. 

“We are delighted that this project has been recognised by the RIBA Yorkshire jury in this way,” commented Angus Morrogh-Ryan, Director at De Matos Ryan. “It has been an honour to collaborate with such a brilliant client and contractor team, and together ensure that this village pub will continue to sustainably service its community but also welcome visitors from afar.” 

De Matos Ryan modernised the heritage-listed pub in the quaint English village, adding a collection guest suites that take their design cues from agricultural buildings. Named after a famous 19th-century racehorse, this building marks the village’s last remaining pub and it’s a highly valued meeting point and social hub for the local community. 

Sustainability is at the very heart of the project’s design, involving naturally ventilated, timber-frame buildings that provide tourists and the locals with beautiful accommodation and a place to enjoy the surrounding landscape. The project provides 12 en-suite guest bedrooms, including four on the first floor of the existing pub and eight arranged around a new courtyard that extends the village green into the pub’s rear garden. 

The project is inspired by the Norse ‘garth’ (clearing in the woods), creating a sense of quiet enclosure and a place of gathering

There’s much to be admired about the energy efficiency of the redevelopment, with the architects putting thought and detail into the whole project with the community always at the front of their minds. Windows have been carefully positioned to prevent overlooking and light pollution to the neighbours, for example. 

A ground source heat pump provides heating and hot water, the roof overhangs reduce solar gain and offer shaded areas, and LED and low-energy lighting, as well as low-volume water appliances, have been fitted throughout the development. 

The creation of new habitats and extensive planting means biodiversity is thriving, and with the re-established orchard at the back of the site it means that fruit trees will eventually supply the pub’s kitchen. 

Both the Stables and the Tack Room are clad in larch with a sinusoidal galvanised steel roof and back wall

“We were very excited with the shape of the plans as they evolved, and the finished result has exceeded our expectations,” said client and Nun Monkton local Kate Harpin.

“The buildings, imagined as agricultural stables, stores, and barn, work brilliantly in our setting, and I have no doubt will get even better with age and weather. However, best of all, our guests love it, and the sense of pride exuded by the staff is wonderful. Since reopening, business has never been better.” 

Project details:

Architect: De Matos Ryan

Structural engineering: Price Myers

Acoustics: Gillieron Scott Acoustic Design

Sustainability: Award Energy

Main contractor: Gem Construction

Douglas Fir timber framing: Timber Workshop

Galvanised steel cladding: Varla

Timber cladding, doors, windows, and carpentry: Lee & Micklethwaite

Garden designer: Kate Guillebard

Photography: Hufton+Crow

The Sheds is a single-storey infill building between existing brick outbuildings with two staff bedrooms and a bathroom

The Alice Hawthorn was also a winner at the Wood Awards 2021. Discover more contemporary environments by De Matos Ryan online.

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