Conservation Portfolio | Aura

A selection of the landmark buildings we've worked on

Buxton Crescent Hotel and Spa

Grade I Listed

The Grade I Listed Building in Buxton Derbyshire was designed by architect John Carr and built for the fifth Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish between 1780 and 1789. The aim was to establish Buxton as a fashionable Georgian Spa town due to the natural warm springs found in the region, namely St. Ann’s well opposite the building which has flowed for thousands of years.

The façade forms an arc originally built to house a hotel, 5 lodging houses and a grand assembly room. The ground floor was meant for shops such as wig makers, where the basement forms the kitchens.

Phase one commenced in the summer of 2012 further to many delays involving issues such as funding, technical and legal matters due to the underground mineral water supply beneath the crescent buildings. Estimated at £35 million, the project was set to provide a 79-bedroom 5-star hotel, natural baths, a visitor interpretation center, a thermal mineral water spa and specialist shops due for completion in 2017.

During phase one Aura Conservation carried out alterations to the rear of the building infilling the original arched door openings to create new windows and also forming windows where doorways had once lay. Once weathered, the end result offers no evidence of the original openings and gives the appearance of continuity. During the works a number of outbuildings were carefully dismantled and the reclaimed stone was re-dressed in order to be incorporated into the aforementioned infill works.

Across the forecourt of The Crescent lies The Pump Room created in 1894. This building required extensive cleaning due to years of algae build up and a DOFF steam process was adopted. Much of the stone had become porous and had to be de-scaled due to lamination. Original door openings and window openings were altered and repositioned. Internally the plaster walls of The Pump Room needed much of the friable plaster cutting away and defective areas removing due to water ingress damage. The walls were then treated with algaecide spray prior to lime re-plastering.

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