Tonight: Grand Designs Revisits The Amphibious House, 9pm C4

GRAND DESIGNS Buckinghamshire Revisited 151027

One year on from the original show, Kevin McCloud returns tonight to discover what has happened with one of the most ambitious Grand Designs ever – the UK’s first Amphibious House. The fully completed building is revealed to the cameras and put through its paces to find out if it floats.

The owners of this remarkable residence show how they have settled into their stunning and distinctive home. The couple’s dream of living in a flood-prone location with strict planning constraints was made possible by the construction the UK’s first amphibious house – a building that rests on the ground on fixed foundations but, whenever a flood occurs, rises up in its dock and floats there buoyed by the water.

You can catch the story of this pioneering building, see how it has progressed and watch new landmark events since its completion tonight at 9pm on C4.

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Buoyant Starts Selected As Winner In NLA Housing Competition

Option1A_Olympic site©floatinghomes_BacaArchitects

Buoyant Starts, Baca’s collaboration with Floating Homes Ltd, has been selected as one of the ten winning ideas in the NLA international ideas competition New Ideas for Housing.  The competition aims to help solve the London housing shortage and the ten winning ideas will be presented to the Greater London Authority who will study their feasibility as options for the future of the London housing market.

Buoyant Starts addresses the housing crisis in Greater London by providing high-quality prefabricated floating homes, at an affordable price, on the unused water space of the capital.  There are approximately 50 linear miles of rivers and canals forming the waterways network of the Greater London area, and an additional 150 hectares of developable waterspace in the city’s docks, marinas, and basins.

An exhibition of all 100 shortlisted entries to the competition will be on display in the NLA Galleries at The Building Centre from 15 October to 17 December, supported by a three month programme of talks, conferences and tours.

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Grand Designs Magazine Amphibious House Feature Out Now

Formosa-3 High Res©OliverPohlmann lo res

November’s issue of Grand Designs Magazine is on the shelves now, featuring the story of the UK’s first Amphibious House, designed by Baca Architects.  The article tells the clients’ story from planning through to construction of the special amphibious design and recalls the floods of 2014 which held up construction.

The success of the design of the house, as well as its pioneering flood-resilient nature, is captured in the stunning photography accompanying the article. This forward-thinking project will hopefully form the benchmark for other amphibious properties around the country as people seek to protect their homes from flooding.  Further details can be found on p61-67 of November’s Grand Designs Magazine.

Robert Barker will be presenting this and other amphibious designs in a seminar called ‘Amphibious Housing UK – a fail safe solution to flooding’ on Thursday 15th October at 14:00 to 14:30 in the Marshalls Theatre, at The Flood Expo 2015, hosted in the Excel Centre, London.

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Successful Creekside Public Consultation

035-Creekside Education Trust ©Baca Architects

Two public consultations were held this month in order to convey the latest proposals for the expansion of the Creekside Educational Trust’s Discovery Centre building. The afternoon and evening sessions provided a great opportunity for the team to present the evolved design that had been progressed from the previous consultation.

The vision for the upscaling of the Creekside Discovery Centre is to create a stimulating environment for children with ecology at its heart. The design hinges on a structural portal frame, designed to be flexible enough to receive shipping containers in different arrangements. It will also future-proof the building for alternative arrangements in the future.

Members of the local community, supporters of the Trust, adjacent developers, the EA and representatives from the local planning authority and the design team all took part. Both events were well attended and the feedback on the revised design was positive. The display boards from the presentation are now on permanent display at Creekside.

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Anticipating The Book Launch for ‘Aquatecture’ With RIBA

Aquatecture Book Cover
Aquatecture’, Baca’s forthcoming book to be published by RIBA, will be officially released at a launch party at a secret venue early next year.   Addressing the increasing importance of considering water in design, Robert Barker and Richard Coutts explore how to design in flood-risk areas and how water can be used to enhance architecture and design.

With water playing such a vital role in our lives and societies, the book lays out the case for the importance of designing for water, now and in the future, in order to best prepare us to adapt to the uncertainties of future climate change.

The historical relationship between water and architecture over the centuries is explored. Historical cases of issues with water and innovations in designing with water are examined, along with measures to mitigate the threat posed by water in the form of shortages, such as droughts, and excess, in the form of flooding.

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Innovation Licence Shortlisted in NLA Housing Awards

Innovation Liscence screen shot copyThe Innovation Licence, Baca’s forward-thinking proposal to help solve London’s housing crisis, has been shortlisted in the NLA Housing Awards. The proposal was practice’s second shortlisted submission for 2015, alongside the Buoyant Starts affordable floating homes entry in collaboration with Floating Homes Ltd.

The idea would be an alternative to planning, whereby licences would be granted for innovative buildings and designs to be carried out on challenging sites, such as floodplains. To obtain a licence, building designs would need to meet a number of overarching environmental and design aspirations but would not be required to comply with current planning policy.

The Innovation Licence aims to be an incentive for public and private companies to innovate and compete to find ways to deliver more housing, more quickly, and with higher densities. These pilots would become future exemplars, helping to stimulate housing growth in London and maybe export UK innovation to the rest of the world.

To find out more about the competition and its entries, please follow this link.

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