Uunderwater Ocean Discovery Observatory - Australia Raising Awareness for Ocean Climate Change

Baca Architects have been appointed by marine contractor, Subcon as the Lead Architects for the Australian Underwater Discovery Centre (AUCD). The commission will deliver Australia’s largest natural marine observatory (2km out at sea) at the end of Busselton Jetty, 2 hours south of Perth in Western Australia. Click to view the project page on our website here Three alternatives have been drawn up for the $30 million Australian underwater discovery Centre: The Cetacean Design reflects the shape of a whale, to raise its head over Geographe Bay. The Rock is inspired In shape and colour by Castle Rock in western Australia. And the Voyage mimics The silhouette and lines of a ship moored against the pierBustleton Jetty managers will formally reveal and present the choice of designs by Henderson based Subcon: Blue solutions on Monday, and the public is being encouraged to vote for their favourite. Subcon: Blue Solutions are a marine contracting company specializing in building offshore windfarm and artificial reefs is joined by CoreMarine Engineering; the team that delivered Snoetta’s “under” restaurant.But what ever appears on the surface, underneath, the Australian underwater discovery Centre aims to be the worlds biggest natural marine Observatory, complete with an underwater trail and Underwater dining. Construction should start in the middle of next year, with the centre open by December 2022. Bustleton Jetty managers are aiming for more than 200,000 new visitors in 2023 bringing the total to more than 900,000.Bustleton Jetty Chairman Barry House says: “This is as authentic as it gets, because people are in the tank and the fish are looking in. By adding underwater dining, underwater sculptures, marine art and other features, this project will enhance Bustleton Jetty’s 155-year-old experience.” Mr House says that at its peak times, people are turned away from the current Observatory because you can only fit 44 people in each hour” In 2017 we started looking at how to make a visit to demand and after to feasibility studies a market research, determine that engaging our current unique Marine offering what’s the best way to grow and meet our environmental goals” Jetty Chief Executive Lisa Shreeve Says the current underwater Observatory will become a marine research centre promoting clean oceans and feature public interaction with world-class research and laboratory to educate people about ocean climate change.Mr House claims that the construction of the new Australian underwater discovery Centre will create work for 200 people!’s ones operation thousands of jobs will be created over the coming years as cafés, hotels, service stations, retail stores, bus companies, trade agencies all prosper, returning some $200 million in economic benefit in Western Australia. “This is an exciting stage of the project, to get the feedback on the most attractive design that will be a catalyst for drawing people to Western Australia from all over the world, especially those who love the ocean,”​

Ashwicken Lake - Public consultation event

Following the initial public consultation online due to Covid restrictions, we are able to undertake (scheduled) face-to-face consultation at the Parish Council Hall. As a consequence of feedback from the initial events, postal forms and further survey work the masterplan has changed.   The proposed staycation retreat no longer incorporates lodges along its southern boundary. Instead introduces the ‘Water Lily’ - a a floating island of 40-flatted units located in the southeast corner of Ashwicken Lake. Inspired by the water lily or lotus plant whose big leaves float on the water’s surface to attract ample sunlight for photosynthesis, Baca adopts this shape to evoke serenity amongst its visitors and synthesise human wellbeing. Contrasting with the quieter setting of the private lodges, the Water Lily’s iconic form provides a large amount of space between the leaves, creating a generous sunbathing terrace ideal for families seeking a replacement to an international pool-side holiday destination. This composition ensures all apartments have a clear view out on to the lake and the clustered nature of the design works to create an intimate courtyard at the centre for an ample, yet communal environment. “The Water Lily is a both architecture and a living sculpture. Imagine holidaying here? – it would be so refreshing, pure escapism and unlike anything else the UK has to offer. It’s been an absolute joy to work on and wonderful that the Client helped has been involved at every step of the projects evolution” Baca director, Richard Coutts DESIGN CONCEPTS The approach to the resort will take guests through a landscaped sequence from their moment of arrival, where they’ll leave their car behind in a park graced with rain gardens. Here, their experience of connection with nature, ecological diversity and wellbeing begins. A stroll through swales leads to a land bridge which connects lakeside with the clubhouse. This is the UK’s first clubhouse on water, which sits at the heart of the resort. Distinctively designed, this exceptional building will comprise a spa, café/restaurant, and lakeside pool facilities as well as alfresco waterside dining. The clubhouse is encircled by 131 lodges, all located on or near the water’s edge, and each with a mooring. Our masterplan arranges the lodges in clusters, interspersed with new planting, trees, follies and water taxi jettiesto create areas of different character across the resort. Alongside the existing woodland are 23 treehouses, which will provide additional accommodation. Water-based pursuits will include rowing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) as well as opportunities for open water swimming. For those preferring to stay on land, tennis courts and areas for ball games and archery have also been designed into the landscape along with a climbing wall and children’s play area. PLANNING SUBMISSIONThe full plans application is scheduled for submission in January 2021.​

Hollybush Lakes, a New Scheme for New Hampshire

Baca Architects has submitted plans for a new £25million eco-sustainable leisure destination located around six man-made lakes on a 15.5-hectare site near Aldershot, Hampshire. “Hollybush Lakes” is to be transformed from a scrap metal breakers yard and gravel pit into a serene lakeside getaway destination, which accommodates both water-based and equestrian pursuits; complete with an aquatic sports centre, equestrian facilities and 20 floating lodges. The natural setting of the location will be restored, increasing its ecological diversity and the existing fishing facilities will be enhanced and the Blackwater Valley footpath which runs through the site will be re-opened to the public.News​

Ashwicken Lakes: Open for Public Consultation

Ashwicken Lakes now open for public consultations Norfolk Farm Leisure Limited is proposing to transform Ashwicken Lake, an unused quarry, into a unique eco-wellness resort. The £35m private investment into the local economy will transform 80 hectares of land at the old Wicken Quarry. Baca’s proposals will comprise 154 floating and lakeside holiday lodges, treehouse accommodation, an on-water clubhouse and associated boat house. In order to clearly outline the draft proposals, Baca hosted an online public consultation webinar and Q&A event.The webinar gave attendees the opportunity to ask members of the project team any questions they had about the draft proposals recording. The webinar is available to watch here (https://wickenwater.com).​

Full Planning: New Apartment Building Proposal for a Hillside Location in Dover

Baca architects are excited to announce that full planning permission has been granted for our new apartment building proposal on a hillside location in Dover.The scheme will deliver 20 flats that provide a balanced mix of unit size: 1 bedroom - 2 person (50sqm), 2 bedroom 3 - person (61sqm) and 3B / 4P (74 m2) units.Locals expressed opinions that the proposals were of high quality, modern design and in keeping with the locality. The local community expressed a desire and demand for new high quality homes in the area.​

Big Announcement: First Images of Our New Lakes Eco-Wellness Resort 

It is with great pleasure that we can now release the first images of our new unique eco-wellness resort centred on waterside living, water-based recreation and wellness.This development will see the lake re-imagined from a former sand extraction pit, into a unique destination where outstanding architectural elements will seamlessly combine with an enhanced natural landscape, to offer a memorable staycation as well as a leisure facility for local people.For further information/questions, use the link below to be directed to the project website.https://www.ashwickenlakeecoresort.com/​

Nearing Completion: Flood-Resilient Homes in Shipston-on-Stour

We might be slightly partial here at Baca, but with our Flood-Resilient Homes so close to completion, we can’t help but be excited to see residents make homes of these houses in Shipston-on-Stour.​

Full Planning: Mixed-Use Lakes Leisure Resort in Hampshire​

Baca Architects are delighted to announce that ‘Hollybush Lakes’ in Hampshire has been submitted for full planning.The site houses six man-made lakes and will reconnect to the Blackwater Valley Footpath, its green space previously under-utilised and not open to the general public. The proposal offers the opportunity to restore the site back to nature for public enjoyment and ecological enhancement. The project aims to re-open the footpath for public use and encourage residents to enjoy the beauty of the lakeside with improved connectivity.The proposals include:An aquatic sports centre which offers water based activities such as kayaking, boating and a seasonal inflatable assault course alongside gym facilities and an elevated cafe.An equestrian centre, offers stabling, grazing and schooling facilities alongside overnight guest accommodation for a local riding school.Floating holiday accommodation within the site offers immersive lakeside holiday accommodation and fishing experiences for visiting guests and introduces ‘eco-tourism’ to the local area.​



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