March House is a sustainable, future-proof home by the River Thames

March House is a sustainable, future-proof home by the River Thames

March House by London-based Knox Bhavan brings context, sustainability and modern construction methods together on the banks of the River Thames

If it is the clean, modernist shapes of Knox Bhavan’s new March House that first signal it as an exceptional contemporary home, then its strong eco-credentials and idyllic countryside location are sure to cement its position as a gentle but also truly forward-thinking piece of residential architecture. The project, recently completed on a natural floodplain on the banks of the River Thames in the UK, is a cleverly prefabricated, flood- and future-proof home that brings sustainable architecture to this part of the picturesque stretch of the river. 

March House was built as a private home, created using a modern, prefabricated cassette system. This technique was developed by London-based Knox Bhavan in partnership with modular manufacturer BlokBuild and engineers Price & Myers. The aim was to make a sustainable home that ‘will withstand the site’s predicted increased flood risk for the next 100 years, presenting a viable design solution for building on sites susceptible to flooding’, explain the team. 

exterior detail at March House, a future-proof home by the River Thames

‘Using MMC [modern methods of construction] directly translated our drawings into a swiftly assembled, ready-to-use external envelope. March House demonstrates how these technologies can be applied to the most specific of briefs,’ says Knox Bhavan founding partner Sasha Bhavan.

The sustainability element was a key part of the client’s brief, so to respond to this, Knox Bhavan additionally developed a carbon calculator system called KBe for benchmarking its projects now and in the future. 

inside looking out towards the water at March House, a future-proof home by the River Thames

As technologically advanced as the design is, it sits delicately on its site, respectful to its context, which comprises designated permanent pastureland, farmland, National Trust sites and leafy Winter Hill. Underneath it (as March House is raised on slim galvanised steel stilts fixed on concrete piles), is an existing garden and orchard planted by the client and maintained throughout the construction process. The building frame is carefully insulated and clad in stained larch, emphasising a verticality and lightness, while referencing the natural materials around it.

The lightweight, steel chassis structure is designed as a single-storey building with flexible, open-plan interiors, and belongs to a former professional dancer who has lived on the site for 19 years (March House replaces an older house on the plot) and intends to stay there – so factoring in some future-proofing in terms of use and the client’s needs was important. At the same time, Danish midcentury modern furniture, lighting and art wrap the interiors further with finesse and clever styling. §

Wallpaper* Newsletter

Wallpaper* is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

© Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All rights reserved. England and Wales company registration number 2008885.