South West

Converting the Boathouse

The Boathouse, Walsingham, Norfolk

A project to transform a former boat store into modern living accommodation has been hailed a ‘great success’.

The Boathouse project comprised the renovation of the Grade II Listed boat store in Great Walsingham, Norfolk, into a two-bedroom dwelling. As the building is a Listed property, all work was conducted sensitively, with the new living quarters designed to remain sympathetic to the surrounding area.

Work began on the 20-week project in October 2012 and reached completion in April 2013. Fisher Bullen was the main contractor on the Boathouse, Donald McIntyre Design was the structural engineer and Napier Clarke Architects provided all architectural services on the project.

The Boathouse, Walsingham, Norfolk

Discussing the project, Napier Clarke Architects Director, Amy Napier, said:

“The client’s ambitions for The Boathouse were to provide an ancillary dwelling to their main house to ease the flow of their growing family. The family wished for the building to sit well within its existing context complimenting the surrounding buildings within their curtilage whilst applying a contemporary approach.

“The brief asked for a conversion of an existing boat store into a two-bedroom dwelling with kitchen and bathing facilities. A renewable heat source in the form of an air source heat pump was required to ease dependence upon oil. The original footprint was to remain the same so a clear plan was required to accommodate the brief, which resulted in a successfully functioning space.”

The Boathouse, Walsingham, Norfolk

Amy added:

“A budget of £200,000 was set at the beginning of the project and was achieved. We spent time ensuring that the design was in line with budget, and products were carefully selected as we undertook the interior design.”

Internally the building was divided up along the building’s axis in order to make the best use of space, one half houses the living room, the other is split to accommodate bedrooms and shower room. Walls were raised to provide the building with more height, and additional space and natural daylight was emphasised through the installation of a vaulted ceiling.

Amy commented:

“We approached this project with a simple plan as we did not want to over complicate the design. So for instance originally the building had two mono-pitched roofs which we reworked into just one roof to tie the building together as a whole.

The Boathouse, Walsingham, Norfolk

“Conservation was important, the original building was part of the foundry located opposite and featured original windows cast there. It was key to us and the client that these were maintained and replicated in each new window.

“We applied a fine attention to detail throughout the design, especially in the interior where each junction of materials was emphasized. The design maintains the rich vernacular of flint and red brick that balances heavy weight external envelope and lightweight contemporary additions.”

The transformation of the Boathouse has been truly remarkable and has given the existing facility a completely new purpose. A simple palette of materials was used on the project, including red brick, flint, terracotta pan tiles and cast iron windows, and the result is a magnificent building that certainly meets client expectations.

The Boathouse, Walsingham, Norfolk

Amy said:

“The Boathouse project has been a great success for Napier Clarke Architects and we were pleased to be involved with such a fantastic scheme. Our client put a great deal of trust in us and it certainly paid off.”

Amy added:

“I have a great deal of experience within the industry, however this was our first project as a practice. The Boathouse presented the perfect opportunity for us to apply the skills we have developed over the years and we have created a great show piece for Napier Clarke Architects.”

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