Leisure and Tourism

Stafford motorway service area
M6, Stone

Client: Granada Hospitality Limited

  • Town planning

  • Landscape architecture

  • Graphic design


“Building is a collective activity.  If you’re going to achieve anything of value, you’re working with a large number of people who all have a contribution to make.  The initial concept for a landscape comes from one or two people, but its implementation can involve hundreds.  That’s what I find fascinating about it.  And it evolves over time.”

PHILIP PHAM, Previously Technical Director
Landscape Architecture, Terence O’Rourke


Terence O’Rourke were asked to achieve planning approval for the service area which had to be invisible from the road and make little impact on the surrounding valley. This was achieved via re-shaping the landform, followed by extensive native tree planting.  When it first opened, the service area attracted a lot of attention and received very positive reviews in the press, one national broadsheet claiming to have ‘seen the future’. The idea was to retain people on site for as long as possible by encouraging them to use the facilities and relax in the large free areas, especially those around the lake. The children’s play area, large grass areas and open space cannot be seen until the visitor has passed through the building, creating a feeling of surprise and excitement. Rather than just a brief stopover, the service area becomes the focus for a longer visit and provides a real break from the road.