Berberis Boathouse

Wimshurst Pelleriti, Devon, 2018


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Nick Kane     Download Original

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Nestled on the banks of the River Yealm in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty our Boathouse forms a small, but significant addition to maritime architecture.

Nearing completion, this project has dealt with a complex site and intensive cross collaboration.

The scheme houses a speedboat and other small craft and leisure equipment and whilst primarily utilitarian, it provides space for the client to enjoy this truly beautiful setting and the waters beyond. The once-appalling state of the roads in the area ‘meant any journey by land was a mammoth undertaking’ and as such residents of Newton Ferrers and nearby Noss Mayo have a deep connection with water seldom found in English settlements.

The spatial arrangement of the Boathouse developed from a close collaboration with WISE boat hoists, who specialise in providing handling solutions to the boat building and marine industries. This has enabled a diagram whereby the boat is stored within the eaves and mechanically lowered into the water when required, releasing the ground plane for additional storage.

The primary structure is formed of galvanised steel with the skin of the building dressed in untreated Siberian larch. The larch, over time, will silver, creating a material dialogue with the structure. Internally, the timber will retain some of the golden warmth of its un-weathered state. A full length roof light allows diffuse light into the main space and mezzanine deck while a series of sliding doors enable access from both land and water.

The quayside has been carefully restored, taking cues from the village and is laid with reclaimed Cornish granite kerbs and setts that run up the tidal slipway and into the building. The building now sits proud on the bank of the Yealm in conversation with the nearby listed ‘Baring Boathouse’ (c1880 commissioned by Edward Baring, 1st Baron Revelstoke).


  • Begun: Nov 2016
  • Completed: Mar 2018
  • Floor area: 65m2
  • Sector: Sports and leisure
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works / Traditional
  • Address: Devon, United Kingdom

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