Marsworth, British Waterways
New canal-side houses with heritage
Watery Lane, Marsworth is a high quality residential development in a stunning canal side location in Buckinghamshire, sitting within a conservation area and including the refurbishment of a 19th century former carpenters workshop used as offices for British Waterways.
Although not listed, the warehouse was deemed by English Heritage to play an important role in the history of the local canalscape and was therefore retained and converted as part of the scheme.
The development sits on a triangular site at the junction of the Grand Union Canal and the Aylesbury Arm and has been centred around the warehouse building.
The homes feature a simple palette of materials including white clay brick, black stained larch, and zinc roofs.
The long-awaited scheme has taken seven years and was deferred three times at committee before it was finally approved and began on site in 2014.
All dwellings take full advantage of the canal context with views over the water. The building arrangement creates a shared courtyard which opens to the south, reminiscent of traditional local farmsteads. All dwellings share this space and are entered from it. The open space around the workshop provides a tremendous waterside amenity for residents and visitors alike whilst also allowing views to the water from landward building.
The basic form and scale of each building is traditional, in so far as they feature pitched roofs and load-bearing walls in order to reflect both the local vernacular and the existing Carpenter’s Workshop. Although all of the proposed blocks share a palette of materials, they are different in form and character, and respond distinctively to their particular location within the site.