Thamesbridge House is a commission for an apartment block in Henley, replacing an existing building. Our client bought the site with planning consent for a replacement building of traditional design. The site is immediately adjacent to Terry Farrell’s Henley River Regatta Office, and the grade-1 listed Henley Bridge. We were asked to design a building with a contemporary design language that would make a strong architectural statement in this prominent location.
The final design was arrived at after extensive consultation with the local authority and conservation officer.
All apartments are orientated to maximise the potential of the riverside location, yet avoid any overlooking that would impact negatively on neighbours.
The existing building is a volume that is broken down through different roofs pitches and various alterations over the years. We propose a contemporary building that is split into three bays facing the street. The roofs follow this arrangement with three distinct pitches. By turning the roofs 90º to the road, we offer a less prominent facade when seen from Henley Bridge, and the rotation also offers less impact on Henley Regatta Office. The three roofs also pick up on the roof forms found in the adjacent Leander Club.
To the Western side of the building we have a smaller volume which is set back from the front boundary, and sits lower than the top floor. This helps to break down the corner, lessening the impact of the building when viewed from the bridge, as well as appearing subservient to the main building itself and the Regatta office adjacent.
The proposed top storey is set back with the pitched roofs over-sailing, to reduce the scale and massing of the building. This helps in giving the building a lighter appearance. It also gives a distinct “top” to the building, and the over-sailing roof makes a strong design statement.
The building will be built in brick with a black zinc clad roof.