UNIVERSITY COLLEGE BOATHOUSE, 2007
14,500 Ft² Mixed Use, Oxford, England
The Boathouse is an award-winning building Belsize Architects won through an invited competition led by Steve Burrows. The building received a RIBA regional award, the Civic Trust Award and Oxford Preservation Trust award on its completion in 2008. As a replacement for a Grade 2 Listed Building located within a green belt and flood plain, it was necessary for the practice to overcome a number of controversies and obstacles, the results of which certainly paid off.
The principle behind its design was to build a safe, secure and robust building, providing a beacon for an isolated site.
The design itself was directly inspired by the sport of rowing; boats, oars and the water all exhibited unique characteristics that we drew on for inspiration. A cantilevered roof provides shelter from unpredictable Oxford weather with strategic penetrations allowing streams of light to filter into core areas.