Royal View

Location: Bath, UK


Client: Crest Nicholson


Status: Completed 2018


Design Architect: Studio Egret West


Delivery Architect: Scott Brownrigg

Royal View is a residential scheme that forms a gateway to the wider Bath Riverside masterplan.

Adjacent to the crossing point over the River Avon, Royal View was conceived as a pavilion within the landscape, inspired by and nestled within the landscape rather than sitting above it. The building’s relationship to the water, to the new landscape park, and its situation within the wider region of Bath, with views to and from, have been of crucial importance.

Bath is the most complete and best-preserved Georgian city in Britain, and listed as an UNESCO world heritage site. Royal View has been designed with consideration for this significant historical context, responding to Bath as a city that developed as a series of formal elements - surrounded by landscape - from its medieval core, to the Circus and squares, the well-known ‘Crescent’ street typologies, roman baths and to its materiality.

Deliberately distinct from the more rectilinear and formal elements of the surrounding masterplan, a language of curves soften the building form and reduce its visual impact. As it increases in height, the curved form steps backwards, creating terrace spaces to view the landscape from. The fluid form also adds to the distinctiveness of the architecture; shadows cast a balance of light and dark across the façade.

Blending historic materials with contemporary design, the scheme takes its cue from Bath’s traditional vernacular and material palette, and has been predominately built using Bath stone which has been sustainably sourced from a local quarry. Balcony balustrades punctuate the façade and are inspired by the unusual construction of the adjacent historical Victoria Bridge where the suspension cables are diagonal rather than straight; when these diagonals are viewed in perspective they create the woven language upon which the metalwork draws. Finally, a dash of orange tiles in the balconies’ recesses helps to break the solemnity of the stone cladding, whilst referencing the rusty stains of ferruginous water found in the city’s Roman baths.

The central atrium is a special feature, acting as the communal heart of the building. It connects residents with the outside elements, providing a direct link with the sky above whilst drawing in natural light. At ground level, a mix of uses - including a restaurant – creates a hub of activity, supporting the scheme’s sense of community and security.

Landscape has been used as an architectural material, with vertical green walls growing up the facade, leading to a garden plant space on the roof which forms a ‘green crown’.

Studio Egret West were the architects for the scheme, including the structure and shape of the atrium. They were supported by Scottbrownigg as delivery architects, and Grant Associates as landscape architects.

Sovereign Point, the second and final phase of the scheme for Crest Nicholson, is on site and due forcompletion in 2019.