Per Mare per Terram. By Sea, by Land.

Many few will know that through our association with water, and particularly our amphibious approach, we have become the friends of the Royal Marine Commandos. To date we have designed and constructed memorials to honour past and current events including memorials at the National Arboretum, Bordeaux (Cockleshell heroes), Iraq, Afghanistan, and others. This year is the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War.Located on a defunct helicopter pad at Port Stanley, we worked with Leander Architectural at a forge in Derbyshire to craft a three-dimensional emblem that adorns a rock from the nearby hills of goose green. Some more personal plaques are bound to the hillside where heroes made the ultimate sacrifice.Veterans of the campaign and their families, bereaved family members, and civilians who supported the Armed Forces will attended a commemorative event at the National Memorial Arboretum, Lichfield, Staffordshire on Tuesday 14 June.​


Baca Director, Richard Coutts attended the launch of Flood-re’s ‘Build back better initiative’ at the House of Commons. Build Back Better is an innovative new way of thinking about home flood insurance. The initiative means families are out of their homes for a fraction of the time and insurers can have the confidence that the properties they cover are more resilient to flood events meaning much lower future claims    What Flood Re isFlood Re is a re-insurance scheme that began operation in 2016. It allows insurance companies to pool the potential costs of the higher risk to many properties by paying a special levy. Because Flood Re is a re-insurance scheme, it works with insurers rather than customers.The eligibility rules for Flood Re are however sometimes complex. The scheme excludes commercial properties as well as certain leasehold properties. It also generally excludes buildings constructed since 2009. This is to help dissuade developers from building on land at risk of flooding. Flood Re is due to end in 2039. By that time it aims to have paved the way to a free-market approach in which policy prices reflect risk.  How it came aboutThere had been earlier agreements between the Government and the insurance industry to help manage the market. But more severe floods (such as in 2007) had led to large payouts and subsequent increases in prices. This situation threatened a failure of the market in many areas. Parliament set out general arrangements for Flood Re through the Water Act 2014.  Performance so far and issues for the futureSince its launch, Flood Re has been able to report strong and clear benefits for most domestic customers in areas at risk. By 2019, for instance, four out of five households with a history of flood claims had seen prices drop by 50%. Flood Re has effectively stabilised the domestic flood insurance market. It now faces the challenge of helping to promote more sustainable approaches to flood prevention, resistance and resilience. These will ultimately be needed if the market is to be able to reflect risk. There is a paradox in this. If customers can buy cheaper flood insurance, they may be less concerned about taking wider action to manage flood risks. In addition, Flood Re doesn’t cover commercial or all residential properties. The Government has tended to highlight industry-led solutions to those problems. After prolonged and repeated flooding events over the winter of 2019-20, the Government announced the launch of the Blanc review, which considered the level and adequacy of flood insurance in affected areas. The report from the review, published in November 2020, found “worrying” levels of coverage in Doncaster, particularly among tenants. It has called for better information and support for both owner-occupiers and tenants, as well as better monitoring of progress. Defra launched a consultation on amendments to the scheme in February 2021. This reiterates the importance of supporting resilience and proposes no changes for general eligibility. 

Tourist Destination Activation Centre

We are pleased to announce that Baca has been appointed as the lead designer for a the “Tourist Destination Activation Centre” in the Red Sea. The team consisting of and MAB Project Management will be meeting on site on Sunday for the kick-off meeting. The project builds on baca’s recent projects including the Hollybush Lakes Watersports and Equestrian Centre in Aldershot, UK and the Australian Underwater discovery Centre in Perth, Western Australia.​ #tourism2022 #destination #architecture #waterfront

Yanbu al Nakhal

On our site visit to the coast, we called into Yanbu al Nakhal, Saudi Arabia; which means "Spring of the Date Palms", about 30 miles northeast of Yanbu al Bahr, which means "Spring of the Sea".A thousand years ago, this valley was in its prime. It was dotted with more than 300 thriving villages. Today, there are only 24. Oral history from the villagers indicates that the valley was dotted with neatly planted and watered farms. This area was well known for wild date farms and sweet and sour lemon orchards. Now, it is known for growing watermelons, henna and vegetables. Thousands of years ago, channels were built to bring water from the mountains to the valley. There are thousands of channels around this valley. They can usually be found near a village or farm. Water was available to the farms even during droughts in the valley. But this water was not enough for the farms to be successful. They needed to store water when it was plentiful. For many centuries, drinking water was carried by camel and donkey to stone lined watering places that were built approximately every 6 miles on this plateau (Al Baydhah). They built 3 ft stone walls around the water channel to keep out sand and debris. These water storage places were replaced when the government built freshwater pipelines.  Given the heat and the sand, it’s really a surprise to see the wadi’s filled with vegetation and the odd stream, with the backdrop of the ancient settlement.  For those usually dealing with European river catchments this a contrasting climate and sustainable issues than we’re usually used to. A thoroughly enjoyable visit and nice surprise.​

Weave House

This site is in flood zones 1, 2 and 3.The proposed development is to replace an existing dilapidated house andoutbuildings with a state-of-the-art eco-friendly flood resilient property. The newdwelling is sited so that the new owners can benefit from views over the RiverWid. The owners are healthy retirees who wish to create their forever home.Pedestrian and vehicle access to the proposed dwelling is past a generousrewilded garden that leads to the front door and garage; the access road risesgently to provide a dry route to and from the property (for a small flood event).The house spans both north and south gardens connected by a ramped spine. Itis the circulation that gives this house its character, rising in half storeyincrements to connect all element that gently lift the main habitable rooms outof the floodplain.The entrance is at grade consisting of a generous lobby that connects to adownstairs toilet/ boot room and utility/plant room. The owners can then chooseto take the stairs into the bedroom wing or alight the gently ramped spine thatleads towards the main living areas that are in the northernmost part of the site.The main living space of kitchen, dining and living room are open plan withgenerous views over the River Wid. A flight of stairs off the kitchen lead to thefirst floor that contain the master bedrooms.The southern part of the house is reached by the ramp that switches back fromthe living area and contains the remaining two bedroom. These bedroomsoverlook the re-wilded garden.The house has been designed with a range of sustainable surface watermanagement measures including a living roof, permeable driveway andfootpaths, a raingarden, plus additional landscaping which will reduce thevolume and rate of surface water runoff discharging from the site, therebyreducing flood risk to surrounding land. The property will be constructed above the ground on elevated mini-piles whichwill not only provide protection to the new dwelling, but will also have minimaleffect on existing flood flow routes and storage, thereby not increasing the floodrisk to surrounding land. The dwelling has a smaller footprint than the existinghouse (due to its elevation on piles) thereby increasing the flood storageavailable in this area. Flood storage attenuation tanks are located beneath thepermeable driveway.The gardens are to be rewilded which will provide a biodiversity net gain. Theincludes an extensive Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SuDs), therebymanaging the water at source which reduces the impact of flood water on peopledownstream in the village.This bespoke home offers low energy design suitable for 21st century livingwhilst adopting smart water resilient strategies that can act as future exemplarfor the area.​

Baca Architects update the 'Flood Resilient Design' chapter in the 6th Edition of the Metric Handbook

Baca Architects are honoured to update the chapter: Flood Resilient Design in the forthcoming 6th edition of the Metric Handbook.  The metric handbook is … … the major handbook of planning and design information for architects and architecture students. Covering basic design data for all the major building types, it is the ideal starting point for any project. For each building type, the book outlines the basic design requirements and all of the principal dimensional data, whilst also providing succinct guidance on how to utilise the information and any comply with design regulations.As well as building types, the Metric Handbook deals with broader aspects of design such as materials, acoustics and lighting, and general design data on human dimensions and space requirements. The Metric Handbook provides an invaluable resource for solving everyday design and planning problems. The updated chapter will feature the newly completed Shipston Road Flood Resilient Multiple Unit Housing scheme in Stratford-Upon-Avon in the UK - which is in close proximity to William Shakespeare’s birth-place! ​

AJ Summit 2021: Virtual conference with Baca Director: Richard Coutts

This year the AJ Summit is going digital! Baca director Richard Coutts will be among the speakers scheduled to  The annual conference will take place virtually on the 25th of March You can read the full details for the event by following the link here

Architecture & Design: 'Australia Underwater Ocean Discovery Centre'

The whale is making a big splash! Architecture and Design is ‘Australia’s largest commercial architecture, building, construction and design media network’ and have published an article on the new ‘Australia Underwater Ocean Discovery Centre’ designed by Baca Architects; of whom marine contractor, Subcon, appointed as lead architects for the project. A&D wrote:‘An underwater marine observatory resembling a huge whale surfacing from the sea will soon come up off the coast of Geographe Bay in Western Australia.’ ‘Designed by London-based architecture studio, Baca Architects for marine contractor, Subcon, the $30-million Australian Underwater Discovery Centre (AUDC) will be Australia’s largest natural marine observatory on completion. Located two hours to the south of Perth, the new marine observatory will be built at the end of Busselton Jetty, two kilometres out at sea, replacing an existing observatory that has reached capacity.’ ‘From the three designs developed by Baca Architects, the Cetacean design mimicking a whale emerging from the water was selected through a public voting process.’ ‘Construction on the AUDC is expected to begin in the middle of this year, with the underwater centre to open by December 2022. Once operational, the marine observatory is expected to draw more than 900,000 visitors annually.’ ‘The AUDC aims to become the world’s biggest natural marine observatory, complete with an underwater trail and dining facilities among others. Describing the approach to the observatory, the press statement says that guests will be taken ‘through a landscaped sequence from their moment of arrival, where they will leave their car behind in a park graced with rain gardens’.’ Read the full article here​

Dezeen: 'Australia Underwater Ocean Discovery Centre'

'The Australian marine observatory by Baca Architects [appointed as lead architects by Subcon] will resemble a whale emerging from wayer' is the headline used by Dezeen to cover the press-release of our Underwater Ocean Discovery Centre destined for western Australia. Dezeen wrote: ‘Baca Architects is a London architecture studio founded by Coutts in 2003. While the AUDC marks its foray into underwater architecture, the firm is familiar with building on the water and creating flood-resilient structures.’ Read the full article here​

Underwater 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,”​



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