water lily ashwicken lake in norfolk baca architect design
Source: Supplied – Baca Architects. A water side view of the Water Lily design at Ashwicken Lake.
  • The eco-wellness resort reflects the form and symbolism of lilies
  • Proposed as a zero-carbon project both in use and production
  • Features 132 lodges on waters edge, and 22 treehouses in nearby woodlands

Waterfront living, indeed floating houses and resorts are a burgeoning trend “on the continent” (Europe).

In the United Kingdom, however, it is a catch-up game according to British regional business news publication Bdaily.

ashwicken lake water lily design top down drone shot
Source: Supplied – Baca Architects. A top-down view of the proposed Water Lily design.

Floating homes are becoming both a necessity and highly sought after lifestyle in places like Amsterdam, one of many places where climate change and flooding has driven the need to move onto the water.

Paired with the harsh British lockdowns, it has also been reported the demand for floating homes and houseboats have been driven up significantly.

A lifestyle gilded with the lily

The water is often associated with a sense of serenity and rejuvenation, according to Knight Frank’s Australian Prime Waterfront Index, a waterside location can attract up to a 63% premium on properties.

Perhaps not everyone’s preferred abode, a sojourn to waterside locations may better suit some lifestyles.

technical image of water lily design showing room layout
Source: Supplied – Baca Architects. A technical drawing of the design housing 132 lodges.

Recently submitted for planning, the “Water Lily” project, an eco-wellness resort situated on Ashwicken Lake, is one such haven for on-the-water living.

Located in East Anglia, some two and a half hours from London, the floating design was created “to evoke serenity amongst guests and synthesise human wellbeing,” said Principal of Baca Architects Richard Coutts.

a nice walk along boardwalk on water lily
Source: Supplied – Baca Architects. A serene walkway part of the Ashwicken site.

Embodying the symbolism of purity, wellness, and peace, the lily design reflects those that occupy the same lake.

Baca Architects say the lily design “provide[s] a sheltered enclave, achieving a generous sunbathing terrace at lake level with moorings for sailing boats.”

“The Water Lily is both architecture and a living sculpture.

“Imagine holidaying here – it will be so refreshing, pure escapism and unlike anything else that the UK has to offer,” said Principal of Baca Architects, Richard Coutts.

The Ashwicken Lake site is part of a £35M investment by Norfolk Farm Leisure, with a focus on staycations and day trips, including 132 lodges, each with mooring, as well as a spa, pool, restaurant and other water-based pursuits.

pool cafe restaurant floating house
Source: Supplied – Baca Architects. Waterside living and water-based pursuits a key feature of the design.

Mr Coutts said: “People have always been attracted to water for relaxation, exercise and rejuvenation. At Ashwicken Lake, these life-enhancing qualities will be supported by a design that will reinforce the engagement of both guests and visitors in an exceptional experience.”

He also noted the design was flexible enough to suit every, “where you can be as social or secluded as you like; a resort for all generations.”

Sustainable solutions

Designed as a car-free site, patrons eschew their four-wheeled transport away from the main lodging, the focus is on walking, cycling and transport by electric water taxis.

Baca Architects also noted the project target is a “zero-carbon [project] both in use and production, employing materials and low-bodied energy, high levels of thermal insulation and building airtightness, natural ventilation, and offsite prefabrication as well as on-site energy generation and waste treatment. The sourcing and durability of the materials used, potential for recycling and the distance to site were all considered within the design.”

inside the lodge of water lily design from baca architects
Source: Supplied – Baca Architects. A view out from one of the lodges.

Like its heliotropic counterpart, the Water Lily also benefits from the sun, but with a solar array on-site to generate electricity.

Back on land, the project also provides 22 treehouses for those who haven’t found their sea legs but still wish to enjoy the serenity, surrounds, and pursuits of the locale.

At the time of publication, the project was only recently submitted for planning.

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