London architect Tom Leahy is the engine behind ARC, a sustainable lodging concept with two new properties in the UK. Earlier this year Leahy’s studio Parti restored two listed manor houses in Cornwall and the Cotswolds to offer private, en-suite rooms with all the benefits of a high-end country-house stay.
ARC Padstow, in the neighbouring hamlet St Issey, sleeps 24 in 12 king rooms with Cornish-slate walls, original beams and restored historic fireplaces. These are set around a garden and “sun lawn” with an outdoor kitchen and wood-fired hot tub. And, says Leahy, it is totally fuelled by biomass sources. The 15th-century property in Painswick, Gloucestershire, accommodates 26 guests in king and single en-suite rooms designed around an internal courtyard. A vast garden has a swimming pool and terraces for wine tasting and all-day dining (on delivered meals).
Both properties have an online “lobby”, allowing guests to plan meals, cocktail nights, yoga and transport, and split costs with fellow visitors. A regular schedule of art exhibitions, supper clubs and literary events brings people together in the common rooms. Known as ARC Salon, it features emerging artistic talent and invites the local community back into the historically significant gathering spaces. Art exhibitions currently in-house at both locations bring together work from local artists inspired by the natural landscape.