King Street, Kings Lynn
Studio 11 Architecture

The client purchased a plot in the centre of Kings Lynn, overlooking the River Great Ouse. The original brief was to make a home safe in terms of the current flood risk, adaptable to future life changes, resource efficient and generally sustainable, evolving throughout the design process to incorporate the constraints of the site, site contamination issues and the constrained construction access. The steel frame construction allows for future adaptations of the building meaning that all internal partitions can be altered easily. The views out of the site were a key factor for the clients' purchase and so a scheme was designed which included balconies with glass balustrades to ensure the views on both the ground floor and first floor living areas overlooking the river were not obstructed. All of the external walls and sloping ceilings were designed with service voids to reduce penetrations through the vapour control layer.

The clients' wanted a low maintenance garden area with the ability to entertain outside, so a sheltered outdoor kitchen area sunken into the landscape at the front of the property was created. The approach to the external landscaping complemented the agreed remediation strategy by including raised planters in strategic areas with the remainder of the site being gravelled with a raised deck on top to allow a level threshold around the building. The steel frame size allowed for the insulation element of the wall and roof to be thicker than would normally be expected in a current new dwelling, allowing for a "fabric-first" approach to the design. The building was designed on steel columns which allows any flood water, should the river wall be breached, to flow around the columns and recede following the flood event with very little affect to the building and its occupants.

Sustainably sourced timber was chosen for the infill panel construction which allowed a more environmentally friendly choice of insulation. The external face of the building is clad using fire retardant treated oak to eliminate any potential spread of flame and maintain a uniform appearence externally. The client was keen to utilise a sustainable urban drainage system to deal with storm water, however, the constrained nature of the site meant that we were unable to utilise soakaways. The option of discharging the storm water to the adjacent river via an attenuation tank located below the main house was explored. This tank has the dual function of collecting rain water to be used to water the gardens and wash vehicles as well as hold water on site in storm events ready to be discharged to the adjacent river when the storm event has dissipated.