Studio BAD were appointed to explore ways to sensitively redevelop the Edwardian waterworks at Twyford near Winchester, Hampshire with new volunteer and visitor facilities. The Waterworks are open to visitors on set days during the warmer months, these days are extremely well-attended and are run by a large number of volunteers operating the machines, running tours, interpreting the history of the site and providing hospitality.
The new facilities need to sensitively touch the site, ensuring the ecology is not adversely affected and the views are not negatively impacted. Working with our structural engineer we are exploring the possibility for placing a large proportion of the new facilities within the disused below-ground water storage tanks, with additional new planting to areas to leave the site greener than it is now. Another aspect to the project is the improvement of access around the site so that all visitors can experience the same views of the buildings travelling up to the highest points.
The site is still actively used by Southern Water, although the process of supplying water has been simplified over the years and hence only a small portion of the site is operational day-to-day. The original water works, now registered as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, includes brick kilns for firing chalk excavated directly from the site, a filtration building, water storage tanks and the pumping station. Additionally, the site is heavily related to nature, with the local topography having been dramatically shaped by the quarrying of chalk over the years and now is home to protected planting, with meandering nature walks a lake and bird hide.
The project will involve extensive consultation with heritage bodies, and all users of the site. We are currently at feasibility stage, working towards gaining planning approval.