Ground-breaking additions to Bath’s architectural landscape are taking shape, as Crest Nicholson Regeneration starts work on the construction of Royal View, the first landmark apartment building at Bath Riverside.
Designed for Crest Nicholson Regeneration by multi-award winning architects Studio Egret West (SEW), consented by Bath & North East Somerset Council in December 2014 and detailed by architects Scott Brownrigg, this is the first of two visually exciting new buildings which will create key landmarks in the Bath Riverside development.
The building will occupy a prominent site on the banks of the River Avon, between the newly restored Grade II listed Victoria Bridge and the new public park, a part of which along with riverside access will be delivered within this scheme.
During the design and planning process, members of the Bath community including residents, local councillors and B&NES officers, along with key groups including English Heritage and Bath Preservation Trust, were asked for their feedback through a series of workshops, a public exhibition and via social media and the local press.
Comments and suggestions helped to shape the final look of the buildings.
The new building represents a unique concept using the traditional Bath stone but acknowledging its relationship with the mineral waters of Bath.
Christophe Egret of SEW said: “The principal of having a building with sweeping curves was an idea developed from the feedback that we received and we set out to create buildings which were deliberately distinct from the more rectilinear and formal elements of the surround masterplan.
“The buildings formal language developed from our research of natural Bath stone, landscape formations and ideas of water and erosion.
“We are delighted to have found a contemporary architectural language that is respectful of the Unesco World Heritage Site yet different from the more formal traditional architecture of Bath.”
The building will link well with the new riverside park and comprises 45 new homes with a ground floor restaurant and café.
In addition to the new park being created adjacent to the building, buildings themselves includes significant landscaping.
Christophe Egret explained: “Our inspiration derives from Bath’s iconic urban and landscape designs, ranging from grand sculptural forms to intricate Georgian detailing.
“The building gently steps back from the base on each floor and this stepping of the curved forms also creates natural terraces for the apartments, with views of the park, river and adjacent bridges.”
Landscape is a crucial component of the building and two vertical gardens have been incorporated and which are designed to bring fragrance, colour and opportunities for wildlife and habitats.
The fifth elevation – the roofscape will also feature rooftop gardens each enclosed by formal hedging with framed openings out into the City, Royal Crescent and the new park.
The metal work of this building performs the same role as those present on the classical architecture of Bath. The design of the balustrades is inspired by the suspension cables of Victoria Bridge which are set at a diagonal.
Mary Timlin, Sales and Marketing Director for Crest Nicholson Regeneration, said: “The regeneration of Bath Riverside is now entering its fifth year.
“To date some 450 new homes including 205 affordable homes have been completed with a further 272 under construction. These will include a range of apartments and award winning town houses.
“At least 1,000 people now live in the popular development renowned for its landscaping, art installations and buildings which blend modern architecture into an historical setting.”
Regeneration Chairman and Executive Board Member for Crest Nicholson Regeneration, Chris Tinker said: “This ground-breaking design has received a lot of positive comments and will be a welcome addition to Bath Riverside and will broaden the architectural palate of this part of the city whilst maintaining a number of historic details.
The interiors are designed to be light and airy with large windows and many apartments will allow flexible living spaces. We are very excited about seeing this building come to life.”