Stepping off a busy residential street and into the calm, serene surroundings of the sumptuously designed former public facility, it is a test for any imagination to realise The Lodge’s humble roots. Having been granted a new lease of life, The Lodge is a classic example of successfully merging old with new. The former neo-gothic style building stands proud, and in perfect harmony alongside its contrasting extension, comprising of solid stone and glass structures.

The architect has intricately figured the space, weaving numerous vistas within structural details, and using an armoury of contrasting materials and surfaces. The seamless flow and harmony are enhanced by the natural light invited in by vast glass doors, windows, and roof lights, allowing the sky, trees, and light to form part of the interior space.

In contrast with softness of the natural world, the choices of structural materials give you the feeling of solidarity, security, and privacy whilst reflections dance off the glistening water of the moat running along one side, bridging the transition between old and new.

An ashlar stone stairwell forms the central focus on the ground floor. Floor to ceiling stone walls and a staircase are softened by vertical ‘windows’ allowing the viewer to look through and beyond. The vast glass oval rooflight above mirrors the shape of the descending stairs below, at the same time, flooding the steps as the light descends into the basement.

The draw is hard to resist as you make your way down into the basement, whereupon a further surprise awaits. Water cascading down a wall of chain mail on the far side of the swimming pool behind which artificial light creates the impression of yet another roof light. Only when you turn toward the end of the pool and discover the heavens have opened, with a great shard of light transcending through the entire building do you realise it is the light, natural or artificial, that moves you through the space.

The lighting design had to support, compliment and at times, replace natural light. Artificial and natural light working in unison was fundamental to the success of the final outcome.

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