An adventurous company’s office space has set sail on a former World War II barge. Property management firm RobotMother teamed up with Marraum Architecture to transform a historic 1,870-square-foot concrete barge into a floating office. Located in a shipyard at Penryn, Cornwall next to the RobotMother-managed Jubilee Wharf eco-friendly development, the floating office marries fun, creative design with sustainable technology solutions.
“As floating structures don’t need planning or building regulations, we reveled in the design freedom this landscape presented,” wrote the architects. “However, where there were opportunities there were also challenges – so this had to be a flexible process where we bent to fit what was possible whilst still creating something exceptional.” Nicknamed the “Brain of Brian,” the relatively lightweight floating office was constructed with a steel frame and materials, such as aluminum and resin, which could stand the test of time and the effects of salt corrosion and wind.
A sawtooth roof tops the building and creates space for shaded clerestory windows that bring in natural light without solar heat gain. Vertical strips of glazing punctuate all sides of the building, while a full-height glass wall frames views of the Penryn River. The light-filled contemporary interior incorporates maritime elements and includes a library, meeting space, reception, work areas, kitchenette, and workshop across two floors and a mezzanine level. The office also includes a biomass boiler and a composting toilet.
Images via Marraum Architecture