Ullswater Yacht Club

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Lake Ullswater, UK. 2011

Lake Ullswater
Interior model photograph
Interior model photograph
Ground Floor Plan
First Floor Plan
Second Floor Plan
View from Jetty
Site Model
Study Model
Study Model

The Lake District is characterised by the dramatic sculpting of the landscape that has taken place over millennia. The buildings have developed as a response to their immediate surroundings. Walls are made of stone gathered from nearby, roofs are constructed of timber and protected by locally sourced slate.

Pele towers dot the landscape of the north of England. Built to protect the residents from marauding Scottish raiders these outcrops of massive stone walls, stand centuries later, testament to mass construction of local materials in a manner appropriate to their purpose and conditions.

The ground floor provides the majority of the cellular accommodation — changing rooms, storage, office, meeting room. The mass of the building is carved into three by the deep cuts of the staircase, the sailors’ entrance, and the main entrance. Entry to the rooms is from deep within the plan adding to the feeling of the thick walls while the ground floor windows are composed to ensure that the visual integrity of the exterior is maintained while allowing good levels of natural light and ventilation.

An open hall at first floor is occupied by a bar and restaurant, separated by the staircase rising from below. The discrete areas of the bar and restaurant are defined by two large, volumetric rooflights giving each area the glowing presence of a hall with lowered ceilings in the areas surrounding them giving more intimate, side lit areas for dining and socialising. Generous windows give wide ranging views across the spectacular landscape in all directions while the large sliding windows can be drawn back to turn the first floor into a covered outdoor space.

In the same way that the vernacular buildings are built of readily accessible local materials it is proposed that the new building makes use of available local materials that root it deeply in its context. A mixture of gravel from the lake bed and earth from the site will be stabilised using trass lime and concrete while granulated glass insulation will increase the thermal performance. The mixture will be compacted in layers between timber shuttering giving an insulated mass construction that requires little or no maintenance and will be unaffected by rain or flood water.

Project status
Shortlisted competition entry

Competition Date

Ullswater Yacht Club



Michael Lee Architects