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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Michael Baker Boathouse in Worcester, England by Associated Architects

 
June 5th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Associated Architects

Associated Architects’ second ten-year Masterplan for King’s Worcester included rebuilding the Boathouse, which was previously a small and unsightly 1950s building.  The site is a focal point in the Masterplan, Conservation Area and in the Worcester City Council/SustransWorcester Riverside project.On the line of the old city defences, it is at the edge of the historic city core which has a rich history including Norman and medieval archaeology.  The Masterplan proposal to create a striking modern building was welcomed by Worcester City Council planners.

Image Courtesy © Martine Hamilton Knight

  • Architects: Associated Architects 
  • Project: Michael Baker Boathouse
  • Location: The King’s School, Worcester, England
  • Photography: Martine Hamilton Knight
  • Contract Value: £1.86M
  • Cost per sqm: £1772/sqm
  • Floor area: 772 sqm
  • Design: 2010
  • Construction: 2012
  • Carbon footprint: 9.4 kg CO2 kg/m2/yr  (CIBSE benchmark: 115 kg CO2 kg/m2/yr)

Image Courtesy © Martine Hamilton Knight

The existing ground floor footprint is increased by 60% to provide storage for all the School’s considerable fleet of rowing boats and sculls. The site is subject to regular flooding, so this floor’s construction internally and externally is robust fair-faced brickwork growing out from the line of the historic brick embankment.  Reflecting the elongated form of the building, the new wall is built with double-length bricks .

Image Courtesy © Martine Hamilton Knight

By contrast, the lightweight upper floor floats above the retaining wall and flood plain.  It provides changing, teaching and a school/community training and reception space, with dramatic views up and down the River Severn from a new glazed and cantilevered prow.  This and the gently curving plan, followingthe historic defensive line, give the building a distinctive modern presence on Riverside Walk.

Image Courtesy © Martine Hamilton Knight

The upper floor overlooks the historic Creighton Memorial Gardens, previously an under-used part of the School grounds.  The scheme creates a new route to the Boathouse through the Gardens, which is much more direct, wheelchair friendly, and improves security: the previous Boathouse was isolated and accessible only from outside the School grounds.  A new garden terrace and windows north focus views to the twin Worcester landmarks of the Cathedral and St Andrew’s spire.

Image Courtesy © Martine Hamilton Knight

Fine sweet chestnut timber laths cloak the upper volume, weathering down to a natural silvery-grey colour in keeping with the sensitive historic context.  Rather than running horizontally, the laths are set at a shallow angle to enhance the dynamic form of the building.  The interior is panelled in ice-birch over timber I-beams, facilitating airtight construction and rapid thermal response for multiple uses.  The roof is traditional standing seam terne-coated stainless.

Image Courtesy Associated Architects

Sustainability is a central consideration in the brief and design.  Solar electric and hot water roof panels meet much of the building’s energy needs in summer, and make a useful contribution in winter.  The construction uses the principles of Passivhaus design with triple glazing, super-insulation and air-tightness.  These measures, coupled with a wood-pellet boiler, give environmental performance to EPC A, approaching zero carbon standards.

Image Courtesy Associated Architects

Image Courtesy Associated Architects

Image Courtesy Associated Architects

Image Courtesy Associated Architects

Image Courtesy Associated Architects

Image Courtesy Associated Architects

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Category: Boat House

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