Crimple Hall, Harrogate

Planning consent Granted.

NJA were commissioned to prepare a masterplan for the redevelopment of the site to include a re-modelled garden centre, new cafe/restaurant, gallery, butchers, offices and a new retail building to replace the dilapidated existing structure.

The vision which emerged through the design process was a major new retail, horticultural and leisure destination. The massing and form references the agricultural buildings evident in the countryside. It is a simple legible building form which offers many different types of space for retail and leisure use with natural light and views out helping to order the plan and section. The contemporary architecture draws inspiration from its context to enhance the essence of the building and setting.

Phase 1 of the masterplan was the creation of the cafe/restaurant, offices and reconfigured internal layout of the garden centre and additional parking. A wing of the former glasshouse was transformed into an stylish upscale restaurant by the insertion of masonry walling, insulated roofing and a strong industrial fit out. The transformation was achieved through minimal intervention into the fabric of the building and the retention of the single volume space that defines the character of the space.

Phase 2 is the construction of the retail building and connecting “street”. A series of interconnected barn like forms respond to the commanding horizon defined by the Crimple Valley – architecture in the landscape. The simple structural portal frames support an overarching roof beneath which the primary retail areas can be disposed. The roof is broken in the middle to create a courtyard which both allows natural light to penetrate the plan and also a unique retail space for external trade and leisure.

Roof cowls ventilate the building and provide south facing angled support for photovoltaic. Rainwater harvesting, natural ventilation and a green roof and heat pumps are integral to the sustainable strategy.