Ullswater Yacht Club, Cumbria, UK

In our design we wanted to respect the feeling of the site with its slope and openness towards the lake - yet we wanted to place the club house at the water’s edge to allow 180º views of the stunning scenery.

This resulted in a concept where 2 masonry volumes - located to the north - one containing changing areas and one service spaces, and a masonry chimney breast support a first floor light-weight sleeve containing the main club facilities.

The stone volumes are positioned as to create a void between them that becomes the entrance. A staircase on the side of the service element, also containing a lift, lead up to the first floor club area. The service element/ core penetrates the first floor, where it contains office, kitchen and bar. A small staircase lead up to the roof and the race office. The service core also separates space on the first floor volume creating an area for meeting/ seminars that can be subdivided into two rooms, and the main club room.

The first floor has a continuous balcony and a large terrace to the south. A staircase on the side of the chimney breast leads directly up to the terrace from the ground level. This does not only allow access and a secondary escape; it also allows sailors with wet clothes access to the deck and the bar, which has an external service hatch, without trailing through the entire building.

Changing rooms can be entered directly from the outside, without going through the building. The race office is located on top of the service volume and is accessed via a stair from the first floor. This position allows the best possible view of the race course as well as being beneficial from a safety perspective. The reminder of the roof of the service volume becomes an accessible roof where the mast is located for racing flags and signals.

Unobstructed views underneath the building ensures maximum connection with the lake and a view of it when entering the site. The building mustn’t create a barrier between the site and the lake. The floating first floor sleeve also creates sheltered space underneath that could be used for dinghy repairs, briefings, skipper meetings etc., as well as out of season storage for club RIBs and other boats.