Boathouse 4

Walters & Cohen Architects, Portsmouth, 2015

 

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View of the working boat-making and visitor centre 

Dennis Gilbert     Download Original

  • View of the working boat-making and visitor centre    
  • The steel shed of Boathouse 4    
  • The structure    
  • All of the steel Belfast trusses and columns have been retained and painted yellow    
  • The north-facing rooflights in the boathouse’s sawtooth roof remain largely untouched    
  • Walters & Cohen has retained the sense of space    
  • The building makes best use of the natural ventilation and daylight    
  • Ultra-efficient lighting systems augment available daylight in the central spaces on darker days    
  • How the shed looked before work began    
  • How the shed looked before work began    
  • Perspective    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Section AA    
  • Section BB    
  • West elevation    
  • South elevation    
  • Working detail    

The aim of the client was to revitalise Boathouse 4 at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard by restoring the existing building fabric, giving visitors free access to a permanent boat exhibition and café.

On the outside the building is largely unchanged. The main intervention – the addition of a large glazed window facing the entrance to the dockyards and naval base – opens up the scheme and signals its new use as a public and cultural space. At this window, with its strategically placed boat restoration demonstration area, the internal goings-on are revealed to passers-by.

All of the structure’s steel Belfast trusses and columns have been retained and painted a bright and striking yellow, while the north-facing rooflights in the boathouse’s sawtooth roof also remain largely untouched. The south-western zone of Boathouse 4 projects over the dockside to enable boats to enter the building directly from the harbour through the tidal canal. This section is supported on a substructure of reinforced concrete V-beams over precast piles and caps. These had suffered considerable deterioration over the years, due to the severe exposure to seawater, and extensive repairs to this undercroft structure were carried out before any additional load was applied by the new building.

The new space is insulated and heated, sitting within the unheated existing shell. The first floor slab of the new building is designed to be as light as possible, constructed from lightweight concrete on profiled metal decking; by restricting the lifting capacity of the gantry cranes, loading on the existing foundations is further reduced.

The building makes best use of the natural ventilation and daylight. Ultra-efficient lighting systems augment available daylight in the central spaces on darker days, while absence detection and daylight activated dimming controls help reduce energy use. 

Data

  • Begun: Aug 2014
  • Completed: Sep 2015
  • Floor area: 3,400m2
  • Sectors: Arts and culture, Industrial
  • Procurement: Traditional JCT
  • Address: Portsmouth, PO1 3PX, United Kingdom

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