|image courtesy of BACA Architects|
On the 15th October Grand Designs featured just one of our many technically challenging and innovative recent projects, here at Benfield ATT.
The clients were brave enough to take on construction of the UK’s first amphibious house on a desirable - but flood-prone - site on a private island in the middle of the Thames at Marlow.
We at Benfield were responsible for the design and erection of the timber frame superstructure, which sits on top of a reinforced concrete ‘can-float’ pontoon basement that floats free and rises on vertical ‘dolphin’ guide posts during a flood.
Working in close collaboration with the main project Architects, BACA (http://www.baca.uk.com/), Benfield were instrumental in identifying and resolving a good number of the design and technical issues associated with the superstructure. Not least amongst these was the need to manufacture a timber frame structure that could be easily transported across the Thames onto the island using a small pontoon-style workboat, then being capable of erection using minimal lifting and handling equipment.
Sadly, whilst a lack of drama makes for good buildings, it makes for very poor television, so several months of work for us was skimmed over in just a few minutes on screen… my own suggestion that we should have delivered the panels to site by dropping them off the nearest upstream bridge and fishing them out as they floated past would have gained us much better coverage, I feel sure, but was unaccountably dismissed by all involved.
Still, it’s a fascinating programme, covering a project that looks set to end in a fantastic home, in a spectacular location. You can catch it for the next few weeks on Channel 4’s on-demand website: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/grand-designs/4od
And if you need to deliver a technically challenging project in timber, with the minimum of drama, you know who to call! - 01291 437 050