NEWS ➤ Bicester Heritage plans hotel for ‘automotive resort’
Having successfully built a reputation and devoted following as a centre for historic automotive excellence, Bicester Heritage has submitted plans for its next stage in a vision to create a home for automotive past, present and future in a unique automotive resort.
Plans have been submitted for a 344-room hotel on the former RAF Bicester site, which, five years ago, was transformed from a state of disrepair to a thriving centre for over 35 classic and vintage car specialists.
Dan Geoghegan, Managing Director of Bicester Heritage, commented “We very much look forward to welcoming enthusiasts to our motoring hotel, from which they will be able to experience a range of automotive destinations on a single site, from the existing centre of excellence for historic motorcars to private track, exhibition hangars, OEM brand centre and future technology.”
Designed by leading British designer and car enthusiast Dexter Moren, the hotel will use materials inspired by existing pre-war RAF Bicester buildings and also use the dimensions and orientation as the 1936 C-Type hangars.
Designer Dexter Moren said “Hospitality specialist architects and interior designers, Dexter Moren Associates, are thrilled to have been selected to design a landmark hotel within a former RAF base, forming part of the Bicester Heritage master plan vision focusing on motorcars and aeroplanes. The design objective has been to respond in a contemporary manner to the site’s rich and unique story, drawing inspiration from its historic position at the forefront of aviation, engineering, and innovation while complementing the existing period buildings.”
Subtle details, such as the expanded steel mesh covering the curve of the building in homage to RAF Bicester’s past as a camouflage training centre, keep the contemporary design in tune with the incredible heritage of the site, with the overall structure also following the lines of adjacent hangars. Alongside amenities such as top-tier restaurant, bar, courtyard, gym, swimming pool and sauna, the hotel will offer an immersive experience for car enthusiasts.
The stunning four-storey atrium has been conceived to showcase rotating automotive themed exhibitions and displays and, in line with the vision for the site as a whole, will not only feature cars of the past but also the very best cars of the present and the future.
Further facilitating the extensive range of events held at Bicester Heritage, the hotel will be adjacent to a raised earth bank complete with Mille Miglia-style start line, making Bicester Heritage an ideal start point for rallies and offering guests an inimitable view from their luxuriously appointed rooms.
What’s more, the addition of the hotel will allow guests to spend more time within the Bicester hub and witness all the site has to offer, from the circuit, skills, airfield and events.
Situated in the heart of Motorsport Valley, a stone’s throw from numerous Formula One teams, Silverstone Circuit and several electric and autonomous technology firms, the hotel will also allow guests to experience the UK’s pioneering automotive industry beyond Bicester Heritage.
This hotel is the next stage in Bicester Heritage’s vision to become the world’s leading automotive resort. The first component of this was the successful execution of the historic section, and its fifty buildings, with further plans in motion to showcase the rest of the automotive world in an inclusive, experiential and innovative fashion.
Further plans include the building of motor lodges, luxury leisure residencies allowing individuals to stay within the 425-acre resort with their car and adjacent to the private recreational driver’s circuit.