“This is a stunning housing development which provides an interesting contemporary take on a proud local identity. It is good to see something new and intelligent in the housing sector, particularly within a World Heritage Site, and demonstrates to other developers that high quality housing can be achieved and you can be bold in a historic setting.“
Civic Design Awards Judges
This mixed use scheme, located on the banks of the River Avon in Bath, is conceived as three ‘variations’ on the Bath Crescent housing typology, consisting of fourteen large family houses, six mews houses, six apartments, and a cafe. A Semi-detached villa crescent, a terraced crescent and a mews crescent are arranged as sculptural stone objects on an elevated riverside plinth. The three curved terraces define a shared public courtyard and a mews street, with the landscaping designed by Grant Associates. The site has a prominent elevated position above the floodplain landscaping of the riverfront walk, between the historic city and the new Bath Riverside masterplan.
The proposal references a Bath crescent characteristic of formal frontages overlooking the square, and more informal rear elevations that open toward the city. The geography of Bath with its rolling hills and views down to the river basin means the roofscape acts as a ‘fifth elevation’, a faceted surface integrating large dormer windows and balconies.
The site’s connection to the new riverside walk and its orientation influenced the massing strategy. Semi-detached villas along the river allow light and views through to the river from within the site. The west terrace and southern mews block complete the triangle, with the mews reduced in height to increase sunlight into the central courtyard. The outward facing city frontages use a primary rhythm of large double height dormers and bay windows, combined with a sculpted roof form which can be read from the surrounding context.
The interior courtyard facades use a smaller rhythm of staggered single storey openings, which are punctuated at the top and bottom of the block with deep reveals. These form the entrance portico and third floor loggia.
Ground floor studies, double height kitchens and first floor piano nobile living rooms enhance the flexibility of each house, creating vertical spatial connections between living spaces, the adjacent landscapes and wider views of the surrounding city. Access to outdoor space at different levels is provided throughout the house: ground floor patio, first floor terrace, and third floor balcony. A roof light at the top of the staircase allows light to flow down through the houses. The large dual aspect master bedroom or family room on the top floor utilises the space within the faceted roof form.
Homes have been designed to Code Level 4 with heating provided by a central CHP for the wider development. Bath Riverside is one of the very few residential developments in Bath that enjoys direct access to the river. The towpath is used widely today as a direct pedestrian and cycle route into the heart of the city, a 10 minute walk away. A new landscape along the river frontage has been developed to enhance this journey, and forms a linear park with pockets of expanded landscape.
ABA worked on this Crest Nicholson Regeneration project as part of a transformational plan to develop 44 acres of former industrial site into a new residential quarter for the city of Bath. Once completed Bath Riverside will comprise over 2000 modern new homes, a new school, 650 student rooms, 60,000sq.ft of commercial space and over 19 acres of public open space including a large riverside park.