This historic restoration centers around the mansion Berry Hill, erected in 1842-44 for James Coles Bruce. Designated a National Historic Landmark, this estate was purchased by The AXA Group, a French-based insurance and financial services company for use as a training center. The project involved a museum-quality restoration of the mansion with very discreet, architecturally compatible new wings for classrooms, dining room and offices. The project also includes traditional-style buildings to accommodate 90 guestrooms and a health spa. AXA Berry Hill complements two existing AXA facilities in the Bordeaux region of France.

At the heart of Berry Hill is the adaptive re-use of the Greek Revival mansion for social gatherings, meetings and VIP accommodation. Additions to the mansion provided in new buildings adjacent to the historic mansion are a dining salon for 120 people, and classrooms and break-out rooms for up to 72 trainees on 24,000 SF; a 59,000 SF, 90-room residential hotel; and an 8,500 SF fitness center with a 25-meter indoor pool, saunas and complete physical plant on the bottom floor.

The classroom and dining salon additions to the mansion are steel-frame construction with brick exterior, painted to match the stucco finish of the mansion. Floors in public circulation areas are slate with carpet in classrooms and break-out rooms, and heart pine in the dining salon. State-of-the-art audiovisual and telecommunication systems are provided throughout the facility, with simultaneous translation capability in English and two foreign languages for all training programs.

PROJECT NAME: AXA Berry Hill Resort

LOCATION: South Boston, VA