New complementary health clinic, martial arts dojo and housing in Bath on a tight site near the river, this project is finally nearing completion. We (Mitchell Taylor Workshop) were commissioned in 2007 and had a several year process of negotiation before we were finally able to get on site. It’s the project I’ve lived and breathed for a few years and great to be able to do an urban project with almost medieval tight public spaces between the buildings that re-links a series of artisan courtyards. That’s the main thing, really – the creation of urban spaces with a series of buildings. It’s rare having an opportunity to do this – typically, one gets commissioned to design a singular building. In some ways it’s rather overwrought and over complicated, but it was one of those projects you design early on in your career where you (over) obsess over every tiny detail, but I kind of like the complexity. At the time I was poring over everything Peter Salter had done, and this has rather manifested itself in the planning. I’m pleased to have done something like this in central Bath, with all the listed and world heritage issues. At one stage, the Bath heritage lobby talked of it single handedly being responsible for Bath’s World Heritage status being threatened. Tinyue Liu did a brilliant set of working drawings, and worked closely with me on the project, and Kris Eley has done an incredible job in steering the project through all the complex on site operations.
This is (above) the first time I drew the final scheme up properly (above) - remember staying up all night just utterly consumed by wanting to get it perfect. Slightly rationalised plans as tendered/built below.North/South section below… The rooflight on the left is actually sliced to minimise solar gain, and further along in the section, the entire first floor is shifted east to allow light into the back of the plan. The window boxes in the houses on the east side are cantilevered over the river to scoop south light into the building and to provide views up and down the river.