Backwater

Platform 5 Architects, Wroxham, 2016

 

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The plot is surrounded on three sides by water 

Alan Williams     Download Original

  • The plot is surrounded on three sides by water    
  • Building this close to the river’s edge meant the risk of flooding had to be taken into consideration    
  • Timber landscaping to the waterside of the house negotiates the change in levels between water and living space    
  • The house functions as a holiday home    
  • The spiral staircase    
  • Pale whitewashed oak floorboards    
  • The dining space    
  •  The house sits on peat and the contractor therefore had to pile down 10m to the rock below    
  • The aesthetic is clean and modern    
  • The space used to be a 1950s bungalow    
  • Location plan    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Roof plan    
  • Section AA    
  • Section DD    
  • North and east elevations    
  • South and west elevations    
  • Skin detail section    
  • Canopy edge detail    
  • Roof detail section    

At Backwater in the Norfolk Broads, Platform 5 Architects has created a house surrounded by water.

Acme has transformed a Grade II-listed mill keeper’s house, which sits on a backwater on the edge of Wroxham Broad. Surrounded on three sides by water, the small plot of land is accessed by a single-track private road that serves a handful of homes located on the water’s edge.

Building this close to the river’s edge meant the risk of flooding had to be taken into consideration. The scheme has been lifted up to the level of a 1-in-1,000-year flood, and timber landscaping to the waterside of the house negotiates this change in levels between water and living space. The jetty at the back of the house will get covered by water in winter but the deck is unlikely to be covered unless there is extreme flooding.

The water also affected the house’s construction, with foundations proving tricky to engineer and taking months to complete. The house sits on peat and the contractor therefore had to pile down 10m to the rock below. A steel frame sits above this like a raft on to which the timber-framed house’s main structure then sits. It also had to be constructed from materials that were small enough to be transported by a Transit van as access was restricted – meaning all timber and steel lengths had to be calculated accordingly.

The house is made up of three modules, each expressed by the cedar-clad pitched roofs at its front: the bedrooms and bathrooms are all located in one; another contains the kitchen and dining space; and the final one has a living room and study-cum-den area. Internally the space is light and this is exaggerated by the choice of pale whitewashed oak floorboards and light grey painted walls.

Data

  • Begun: Sep 2014
  • Completed: May 2016
  • Floor area: 185m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Procurement: ICD WCD 2011
  • Address: Wroxham Broad, Wroxham, NR12 8TS, United Kingdom

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