CIfA 2017 Commendation: Waterway House – dhk


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Waterway House demonstrates how a building can make a subtle yet meaningful contribution to its urban setting. This building ably reinforces the urban design framework of the Canal District of the V&A Waterfront by providing a well-scaled street edge and suitable overall massing, while framing a view by way of a corridor towards Signal Hill.

The combination of a high-quality glazing system and rhythmic setbacks provides an interesting and well-articulated façade which, together with its vertical aluminium fins, allows for maximum light penetration with minimal heat gain – not an easy feat considering the orientation of the building. While some additional horizontal cover on its western side would have been welcome, the building does provide a generous sheltered pedestrian route along its busy eastern edge.

The economical use of materials for the internal finishes meant that funds were made available for use elsewhere, and the interior was designed to accommodate change over time. Waterway House is a competent commercial building and one that does not try too hard to make any overt architectural statements or references: it aims to provide a suitable amount of floor space within an effective skin to allow for maximum flexibility over time and it has excelled in all three of these areas.

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