Alex Cochrane Architects updated this traditional Victorian boathouse in England with a beautiful renovation that transforms it into a creative refuge overlooking a lake. The London-based design studio modernized the space with an open-plan interior and a timber balcony that ‘floats’ on the lake. The boathouse is located in a stunning deer park in the south region of Berkshire, but these days it functions as a writer’s retreat with a ground floor area for housing boats.

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A single unit runs the entire length of the building, providing space for a much-needed bookshelf and a reclined seating area. A useful built-in desk sits under the window. The design includes a variety of contemporary finishes such as sliding doors and mirrors around the washroom areas, and a well-placed balcony enables residents and visitors to look out over the lake.

Sections of the former boatkeeper’s lodgings have been maintained, such as the A-frame timber beams. But several sections are very different: the inside was stripped and sandblasted, and roundel windows were incorporated to bring light into the roof structure. Heating is another key factor in the design, as a ground source heat pump heats up the coils under the floorboards from the lake.

+ Alex Cochrane Architects

Images courtesy of Alex Cochrane Architects