“It seemed quite amazing to discover such an adventure in the middle of the city we had
grown up in and which we all professed to be totally bored with…I suppose this discovery
must have given me a taste for river exploration, as next year I attempted to navigate
Sheffield’s largest river, the Don…and somehow drifting past familiar landmarks from a
different angle seemed to fill us with excitement. At one point we were enveloped in
steam from a neighbouring factory and I began to have a feeling that maybe we were
involved in some kind of South Yorkshire re-creation of Apocalypse Now – it was like the
river had decided where it wanted to take us.”
Jarvis Cocker, January 2000
To design a Kayak centre in a semi rural site in the North East of Sheffield, beside the River Don. The centre should be big enough to hold 20 Kayaks, an administration room, some facilities for tea and coffee, changing facilities with showers and toilets.
In response to this brief I looked at the threshold of shelter, both common thresholds on the route to the site by footpath and by Kayak (up the River Don). through looking at this threshold I decided to create a building that bridged the threshold on the site and created a new sense of shelter on the footpath it crosses. The main feature of the building is the 20m walkway which struts out from the open hill of the site into the canopy, through the changing facilities and kayak store out onto a balcony which over looks the river. The admin facilities are situated in a separate part of the building which cantilevers over sunken land and sits below the canopy walkway. The tea and coffee facilities are also on the ground floor across the existing footpath in the separate building which holds a small log fire and some chairs. The Kayak storage is in a double height, ventilated space which has the first floor walkway hung through it. The showers and changing facilities are up in the trees, which is ideal for privacy and makes the users feel at one with the nature of the site. The Kayak centre is completely off grid, with its sloped roof that collects rain water, its log fires for heating the spaces and a hydroelectric pump is installed in the river to provide power to the admin office and any lights that are needed.