Baca Architects submits scheme for floating eco-wellness sanctuary and spa
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Baca Architects submits scheme for floating eco-wellness sanctuary and spa

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This will be a resort where you can be as social or secluded as you like; a retreat for all generations
– Richard Coutts

Baca Architects has submitted a scheme to transform an unused UK quarry lake and surrounding land into a unique eco-wellness resort centred on waterside living and water-based recreation.

The 80-hectare Ashwicken Lake site is situated in East Anglia and combines woodlands and wetlands with a one km square lake at its centre. A £35m (US$49.4m, €40,7m) investment by developer Norfolk Farm Leisure would see the site reimagined as a destination for staycations and day trips where outstanding architectural elements will be elegantly blended with a tranquil natural landscape.

The destination is being conceptualised to guide guests on a journey of reconnection with nature, ecological diversity and wellbeing.

At its heart, the resort will feature the UK’s first floating clubhouse complete with a luxury spa and swimming pool, encircled by 132 contemporary lodges all located on or near the water’s edge, and each with a mooring.

These lodges will be arranged in clusters, interspersed with new planting, trees, follies and water taxi jetties to create character across the resort.

In addition, there will be 22 treehouses nestled in the woodlands.

Distinctively designed, the clubhouse will also house a café and restaurant, lakeside pool facilities and alfresco waterside dining.

A range of water-based pursuits will be available for visitors, including rowing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding 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.

All facilities will be open to both staying guests and local people.

Furthermore, in a resort that will exemplify innovative design and sensitive regeneration, a floating island of 40-flatted units will be located to one corner of the lake, its design inspired by the water lilies whose large leaves float serenely on the water surface.

The proposals target zero-carbon both in use and production, employing materials of low-bodied energy, high levels of thermal insulation and building airtightness, natural ventilation and offsite prefabrication as well as on-site energy generation and waste treatment.

The sourcing and durability of the materials used, potential for recycling and the distance to site were all considered within the design.

Richard Coutts, Principal of Baca Architects, said: “People have always been attracted to water for relaxation, exercise and rejuvenation.

“At Ashwicken Lake, these life-enhancing qualities will be supported by a design that will reinforce the engagement of both guests and visitors in an exceptional experience. This will be a resort where you can be as social or secluded as you like; a resort for all generations.”

Space is allocated on the site for a solar array and the lake will be utilised as a source of renewable energy.

Areas of nature conservation will deliver a biodiversity net gain and the entire site will be a car-free environment with a focus on walking, cycling and transport by electric water taxis.

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Baca Architects has submitted a scheme to transform an unused UK quarry lake and surrounding land into a unique eco-wellness resort centred on waterside living and water- based recreation.

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