Designed in collaboration with Birch founders Chris King and Chris Penn, the lifestyle hotel sees the former De Vere Theobalds Estate hotel totally reimagined as an escape from urban living, where everything you think you know about traditional hotel life is turned on its head.
Inspired by the resourcefulness of the past, where old estates used to manage their resources and land holistically, Birch spaces aim to work with their environments as much as possible, from estate-made produce to nature-led restaurants.
Some of the oldest parts of the estate date back to the 15th-century, while the mansion house was built in 1763. Now a Grade II*-listed building, the existing rooms were what you would expect from a traditional hotel, which Birch felt didn't met the needs of today’s changing market.
Red Deer approached the renovation with an inspiring touch of lightness, setting out to only intervene where it counted, reusing and repairing the existing site’s materials, and stripping back clutter and unnecessary furniture to create more thoughtful spaces.
Red Deer was also adamant that traditional tendencies towards wastefulness and uniformity were challenged throughout the hotel. As part of this process, Red Deer looked at how they could work with what already existed at Birch. For example, the floorboards underneath the carpet in the reception area were numbered in white paint from a previous renovation. Rather than cover the marks Red Deer exposed them and celebrated the evolution, with the painted numbers becoming part of the decorative features in the room.