The Garryvoe Hotel in East Cork has been a mainstay of the landscape for generations. A popular destination, especially as a wedding venue, the hotel underwent a dramatic change at the beginning of the year when it had its whole ground floor revamped.
While the hotel itself acted as main contractor on the project, Dublin-based architectural firm Douglas Wallace were brought in to design the space. Adrian Lambe, a director at the firm, spoke to Premier Construction about the work:
“The brief was that the whole reception, dining rooms, bar and pre-drinks, pre-function areas didn’t work for them in the sense that there was little definition, there was little character and it needed an injection of personality. It needed to be separated out into specific zones in order to try and compliment some new food offerings they were investigating at the time.
“We started the project in September 2015 and spent right up until the start of December 2015 doing designs, modifying and fine tuning them. Then the client went on site with the project immediately after the New Year break. It was on site for about eight weeks.”
Looking out over Ballycotton Bay, Garryvoe has approximately 85 bedrooms alongside conferencing facilities, a swimming pool, gymnasium and two restaurants. In 2016 it was named Best Overall Wedding Venue in Ireland offering couples idyllic scenery.
Inside, a double height library space was created where previously there had been an incidental mezzanine. A new bespoke carpet in this library area was complemented by timber flooring in the rest of the space. There is also now a combination of wall coverings, panelling, painted panelling and armourcoat finishing’s on the walls.
“One of the key tasks was to make the bar a central feature of the space – we really thought about the idea of making the bar central to the design and from this radiated all the other zones or areas. Previously the bar had been tucked into a corner whereas now it became a key central feature of the design. Then really it was taking existing spaces and remoulding them and reshaping them, putting a bit of personality in them.”
The fact Garryvoe itself was the main contractor helped save time. For Adrian, it was simply a case of getting everybody on board.
“Some of the ideas we came up with were quite radical and they changed the area and space quite a bit but once the client got on board with that it was plain sailing.
“It’s been open now since March this year. I was down there again last week and it looks as fresh as ever. The great thing is that the public feedback has been really, really good. Whenever people go and visit it they always find something different that they haven’t seen before and that was always the key thing, to make it interesting. It has a really nice look and feel.”