Notes from The Cube: Shepherd’s Run, Rethinking the Hotel Experience

Our Notes from The Cube series returned after a summer hiatus. We missed our Friday presentations, especially during the summer-that-wasn’t, as they brought our office together virtually even as we’re keeping physically distant.

We heard from Justin Hedde about Shepherd’s Run, the adaptive reuse of a former boarding school in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. The property overlooks the Narrow River, a tributary of Narragansett Bay and an ecological treasure. Working with a conservation-minded developer, we’re reimagining its 1930’s Norman Romanesque stone manor house and 1960’s residential buildings – with grounds designed by the famed landscape architect Beatrix Farrand -- as a boutique hotel and resort.

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We’re drawing inspiration from Babylonstoren, a Cape Dutch style farm retreat in Cape Town, South Africa that dates from 1692. Visitors there can harvest from vegetable gardens and stay in a hotel, farm house, manor house, and cottages that compose the idyllic property.

Our design will engage its environs with outdoor gathering spaces that include a formal courtyard for weddings and other special events, firepits, meadows, and a vineyard that will be created with grapes from Long Island. A bar, restaurant, and events hall will spill onto the courtyard enclosed by the manor house and the residential buildings, whose institutional appearance will be masked by a trellis of ivy and hydrangea.

We’re excited for the next steps, the first of which will be the renovation of the manor house. Future phases, which include small bungalows dotting the landscape, will complete the project and bring yet another special destination to Rhode Island’s south shore.