Sited on the Attenborough nature reserve, the vast expanses of water was embraced in my design. Focusing on the personal relationship between canoeist and water, the connection of spaces linked by the flow of activity throughout the day and his daily routine is transformed into a seamless descent into water.
As a retreat, both focus and training is essential but a time of rest and relaxation is also required. By separating these two functions into distinct ‘compartments’, the strict regime of training and comfort is integrated into the architecture.
Respecting the organic rhythms of the site, the materiality of the scheme aims to be of minimal process. A combination of wood, glazing and metal aims to mirror canoe materiality. Internally, reflective floor surfaces simulate water reflectivity whilst windows facing the lake offer the sensation of floating, both of which evoke the client to be ‘in his element’ even when on land.
In this way, the design concept not only provides functionality for training and recovery, but by responding to the drive and passion of the client, the architecture itself becoming a source of stimulation.