The brief was to convert a Listed River side Warehouse, which floods regularly, into a conference centre and exhibition space. The scheme illustrates a radical approach to flood defence providing a viable solution to the seemingly intractable problems of flooding within historic centres.
Saturate also developed the brand identity for Watershed Ltd allowing the new company to be labelled as Hereford's Premier Events space.
By bringing back to life a redundant building many original materials have been re-used, which would otherwise have become rubble. The aim of the construction was to minimise pollution through use of appropriate materials. The sourcing of many of the materials was local, and a reliance on traditional material helped in aesthetic and primary resource conservation.
The building is designed to use solar gain via the glass upper storey and to dispel any excess heat naturally via open-able roof lights in the apex of the building.
The site is subject to flooding and the building provides an example for how buildings can address this situation. The floor is raked to allow the flood water to be easily drained from the building and all electrics and power services are connected top down so that the cabling does not provide hazard within the flood and can remain operational in the flood situation.
The stone walls of the old warehouse have been expertly restored, and a new steel structure rises above the sloped leaded wall plate, creating a new second storey. The quadra-stemmed steel structures are influenced by the tree forms which surround the building. To walk on the first floor of this building is to walk in the tree canopy above the adjacent green park of the Bishops Meadow.
The arch of the structures form gothic arches when viewed in short section, which reflect the orders and tracery of the South window of the C14th Cathedral, located on the opposite North bank of the river. When viewed from the long section the arches created are tudor arches, reflecting the heritage of the original buildings along the old tow path of the river.
Description from the architects