Scottish art hotel given the go ahead for Moxon Architects

Highlands Hospitality Limited (HHL) has been granted planning permission to restore The Fife Arms hotel in Braemar.

HHL is planning to re-establish The Fife Arms as a first class hotel offering exceptional and unique accommodation with approximately 45 bedrooms, a restaurant and facilities for the local community as well as national and international tourists.

Edward Workman, CEO of HHL said:

‘This is an exciting moment for Highlands Hospitality, The Fife Arms and the village of Braemar. The much needed renovations will start immediately and we have confidence that the transformation of this beautiful and historic hotel will bring huge benefit and opportunity to the local community, attract visitors from all over the world, and safeguard the Grade-B listed building for future generations.’

HHL is working with Crathie-based Scottish architects Moxon and interior designer Russell Sage on plans to revive the landmark building through careful restoration and discreet remodelling combined with modest contemporary interventions.

The 19th-century facades will be revitalised but the distinct decorative elements that characterise the building will be retained in their entirety. The major architectural intervention involves the demolition of uncharacteristic and unsightly 20th-century additions to the main building that are the result of poor planning. These extensions are to be replaced with a series of efficient and architecturally sympathetic structures that complement and enhance the design of the rest of the hotel.

A line of ‘stripped bark’ tree trunk columns will support a planted heather roof. Locally salvaged granite will be used elsewhere in the project to match existing buildings and untreated timber cladding will be adopted, which as it ages will develop a silver grey patina, complementing the stonework. Sustainability is fundamental to the longevity of the hotel and so the new build elements in the proposal will also be constructed to a very high level of thermal and environmental performance.

HHL has also pledged to adopt a ‘Construction Management’ approach for the restoration, which will ensure that local trades and suppliers will be given every opportunity to participate in the project.

Through a process of public consultation, the new hotel will provide the local community with much-needed accommodation, facilities and services. HHL has vowed to open up the hotel for public use as much as possible, including a new central courtyard at its heart with a sheltered external space.

Iwan and Manuela Wirth set up HHL to acquire the hotel in order to restore it.

It is anticipated the hotel will re-open in early 2018.