Contemporary and traditional materials and craftsmanship combine to create innovative new addition to historic site

Howells has completed the construction of a new pavilion restaurant adjacent to the National Trust’s 18th-century Hanbury Hall in Worcestershire.

Designed to accommodate the increasing number of visitors to the Grade I-listed William and Mary-style stately home, the restaurant aims to provide more spacious facilities and is fully accessible.

Sandeep Shambi, Partner at Howells, said: “We are very proud of this new restaurant pavilion at Hanbury Hall with its sustainable credentials, contemporary design and its nuances of form and materiality, it carefully bridges the old and the new.

“The design was a result of close dialogue with client National Trust and our heritage partners, and we hope it will enrich the experience of all the Hall’s visitors into a long and successful future.”

Constructed upon the foundations of a previously demolished ancillary building, the new structure incorporates a subtle glazed link to Hanbury Hall.

The pavilion incorporates modern-traditional craftsmanship, utilising handmade locally sourced clay tiles to wrap the roof and walls of the timber-frame structure in a continuous skin

This connection reinvigorates the historical courtyard and improves accessibility within the site, offering visitors access to previously unseen areas of the Hall, including the service bells.

Named ‘The Courtyard Kitchen,’ the restaurant features a menu offering seasonal, organic produce sourced from the site’s gardens.

The design of the pavilion seeks to align with the architectural characteristics of the main house and its garden orangery, featuring a long and low hipped-roof volume on a limestone plinth. Emphasising the rhythms and red-brick colouring, the structure’s unembellished massing and simple detailing is intended to harmonise with the existing architecture of the courtyard.

The glazed oak ‘porch’ elevation, made from untreated oak sourced from the National Trust’s nearby Brockhampton Estate, connects to a newly paved sandstone courtyard, aiming to enhance the visitor experience by reinstating a tall archway in the stable block, offering a new view of the estate’s parkland.

The pavilion incorporates modern-traditional craftsmanship, utilising handmade locally sourced clay tiles to wrap the roof and walls of the timber-frame structure in a continuous skin. These bespoke tiles are intended to complement the brick colour of the Hall and are incorporated into the roof pitch to create a sunken gutter.

Inside the restaurant, design elements have been inspired by the historic panelled rooms of Hanbury Hall. The interior features a palette of painted wainscotting, exposed timber ceiling beams, fine timber battening, and light-reflecting glazed wall tiles across the new spaces.

These areas are connected to the main house, providing additional rooms for seating and toilet facilities, including a fully accessible toilet in the new building.

The interior design is intended to accentuate Hanbury’s garden views and to echo the tones and textures of its historic staterooms, adorned with baroque wall and ceiling paintings by Sir James Thornhill, as well as significant 18th and 19th-century porcelain, furniture, and portraiture.

The restaurant is powered by two new biomass boilers installed on-site to facilitate underfloor heating and hot water.

The construction project involved extensive collaboration between Howells, heritage experts Donald Insall Associates, the National Trust, Historic England, Croft Building & Conservation Ltd, and the local planning authority. Their joint efforts aimed to ensure the preservation of the historic estate’s architectural integrity, including its subsurface foundations.

Caroline Lawrence, Visitor Operations and Experience Manager for the National Trust, said: “We are delighted to announce that the Courtyard Kitchen is now open. With a delicious new menu, bright, spacious seating areas, a beautiful courtyard, and charming views over the Parterre garden, the Courtyard Kitchen offers the perfect place for visitors to relax and enjoy a bite to eat after exploring Hanbury Hall.”

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