Johnstown Estate Hotel a Georgian ‘gem’
Completely reimagined in a major 18 month refurbishment programme, is The Johnstown Estate Hotel and Spa, located between the villages of Johnstown Bridge and Enfield in Ireland.
Situated just 35 minutes from Dublin City and Dublin International Airport, the three storey over basement Grade I listed country house hotel is located within 120 acres of rich parkland.
Main Contractors for the project were H. Forde Construction; interior architects were Millimetre Design.
Millimetre Design were commissioned to complete the project cost analysis to determine the appropriate refurbishment budget, as well as to carry out the project design, architecture, branding and overall design project management.
As the building is a protected structure, Millimetre Design were also required to co-ordinate the necessary Conservation Compliance.
The project included the complete refurbishment of the ground floor area of the existing hotel, including the entrance foyer and reception, atrium lobby and mezzanine lobby.
Works also included the interior design of a new steak and seafood restaurant, as well as creating the new brand for the fabulous new eatery, ‘Fire and Salt.’ The ‘Fire’ of the name refers to the intense chargrilling of the meat that gives it flavour, texture, juiciness and a unique crisp caramelised coating. The ‘Salt’ of the title refers to the Himalayan salt which accompanies the steak dishes and is also a feature of the bar counters.
Beautiful architectural elements and luxurious design have created a lavish new dining environment, complete with its own bar, central banquette seating and amazing bespoke lighting, all under a decorative metal canopy. The space is finished with original and commissioned artwork. The eatery offers a comfortable, modern dining space, perfect for everything from an elegant weekend dinner to a cosy Sunday lunch.
Additional elements of the project included the redesign of the interior and logo of the hotel’s existing bar, The Coach House, the design of new private dining/meeting /function rooms and new ancillary restroom areas, as well as the redesign of the Courtyard/Beer Garden.
The previously underperforming Coach House Bar has been transformed into a cosy Irish pub, complete with library, snugs, roaring open fire, beautiful finishes, dark wood and ambient lighting.
The reception and dining rooms ,which are part of the original Georgian house, a protected listed building, have been designed in harmony with all original features.
Millimetre Design successfully retained the heritage of the original building whilst creating the luxurious facilities required of a modern day hotel.
Challenges of the project included the fact that the hotel is listed, and that the works had to be undertaken whilst it was in full operation, which required careful phasing of the scheme to ensure minimal disruption to customers, and consideration of noise issues and health and safety.
Martin Woolley of Millimetre Design, who was responsible for overall design and project management of the scheme said: “This was a challenging project as we were dealing with a protected structure and a live hotel environment. We liaised with the local County Council Conservation Department throughout the project, to ensure our proposed design did not interfere with the historic fabric of the existing structures. We were also in constant communication with hotel management to ensure minimum disruption for their clients during refurbishment works.
“In the old house, all the architectural features were retained within the new design. Original wood panelling, white marbled fireplaces and a luxurious chandelier provide the elegant touches to an inviting space lit with low table lamps and dotted with plush, modern furniture.”
The beauty of the refurbishment lies in its seamless fusion of styling. The striking rooms echo the estate’s grand history, yet brim with modern touches that blend perfectly with their surroundings.
The overall design conveys urban sophistication and relaxed comfort, with design features including round booths with leather banquettes, plush velvet wing-back chairs, dark wood and atmospheric lighting.
Martin Woolley concluded: “We had a tight project timeframe, a protected structure and the hotel had to remain open during the refurbishment work. So project planning and organisation was critical. We set out a detailed budget before commencement of the project and then designed and managed to that budget providing full tenders for all packages. The client really appreciated the level of detail provided and our ability to deliver within that agreed budget.
“For us, working with the team at the Johnstown Estate was a pleasure. They had a clear vision for their new hotel and the Millimetre Design team were delighted to transform their vision into the reality that is the new Johnstown Estate – an elegant and inspiring new space for visitors to enjoy.”
The project started on site in October 2016 and was completed in March 2017.