Playful moments combine with careful attention to physical, social and visual context in this watersports centre at the foot of lake Windermere. Simultaneously utilitarian and imaginative, it is used by local sports clubs, wildswimming children, walkers and picnickers.
A simple palette of materials and colours plays out across a cluster of three angled buildings which respond to the neighbouring slate-clad historical boathouses. The new structures are grouped around a terrace which acts as a promenade, a stage, or an extra room. Hard-working and refined, there is an emphasis throughout on unlocking space and opening up new routes across the site.
In the main building, sailing, rowing and swimming clubs are sharing a space for the first time. Cosy alcoves with custom designed furniture allow for privacy, with space to display team trophies. A glazed northern facade offers wide views onto the lake.
The buildings are constructed from prefabricated SIPs set on a slate clad plinth. Local materials have been prioritised, including slate sourced from the same quarry that provided material for the historic boathouses. The corrugated cement board used for roofing is a modern material which also references the area’s agricultural buildings. Sustainable materials such as Kebony treated European softwood, combined with a heat source pump and green roofs reduce environmental impact.
Client: National Trust
Funders: National Trust and Sport England
Architect and Lead Consultant: muf architecture/art
Structural Engineer: engineersHRW
Civils Engineer: Infrastruct CS
Landscape Architect: Iteriad
M&E Engineer: Walmsley Associates
Quantity Surveyor: Hyde Harrington
Main Contractor: Thomas Armstrong Construction