Odhams Wharf unit A

About This Project

Odhams Wharf Topsham

Client: Web Construction

Contract: RIBA SFA 99

Contract Cost: circa £3m

Cost /sqm: Undisclosed

Programme: Undisclosed


Odhams Wharf is a good example of what you can do with a limited brief, it is also a great

showcase to illustrate how architects see opportunities in a project that others don’t.

We inherited a very dull planning consent not worthy of the location, aspect and context of

the site.

We felt we could do better, so we did. An artist has a blank sheet of paper, or a lump of clay

they have to give colour or from to the piece, as an architect you have a rich source of

information, inspiration and context to work with. Every building IS from ‘somewhere’, how

does it respect that or even enhance it?

We saw that abuilding on the edge of the land created an opportunity to look out and

beyond. The water edges the site on two sides, so an l shaped form was created. Outwardly

addressing the views, inwardly creating a cloister or courtyard.




The site borders a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), so we needed to consider this

aspect and the impacts carefully, wadding birds on the salt marshes need special


The glass on the corner atrium slopes, a little bit like a conning tower at the airport, why?

English nature said too much glass the birds will fly straight into it… so we sloped it, a simple

design consideration had a huge and positive impact on the design.

Unfortunately the building was owned and procured by a contractor so we didn’t get a

chance to detail it we’d have liked to, but they do a good job, all the same, it is a local

landmark and one we are very proud of.