Weiss Architecture Studio

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Rivers House

The Project

Chapman Architects successfully obtained permitted development rights for the change of use of Rivers House from office accommodation to 28 residential units. Rivers House comprises of a 2,868 sqm eight-storey office block with single-storey podium providing existing self-contained office suites. The building dates from circa 1964 and was designed and built for Essex River Authority as their new office headquarters building. Following the departure of the Water Board in 1987, a local developer acquired the building and carried out a speculative office refurbishment to create the existing accommodation.
Chapman Architects were appointed to carry out a feasibility study for refurbishment, change of use and potential extension options for the existing building. Under changes to recent legislation, Chapman Architects submitted and received prior approval for change of use to residential accommodation without submitted a full planning application. This was done so by working closely with the Local Authority, Transport Consultants and Client.

Within the feasibility study various options including structural amendments to the existing building were proposed to the client in tandem with a Quantity Surveyor’s Cost Benefit Analysis. Proposed Design Options included the addition of a mezzanine floor at podium level to create duplex apartments with sedum roofs with terraces incorporated into the existing Portland Stone façade.