The Old Boathouse

A terrace of new riverside homes that revitalises an industrial site and historic boathouse

Project details


Taplow, Berkshire




Gage Properties





The Old Boathouse is a conversion and new-build development of eight riverfront houses along the Thames at Taplow in Berkshire. The project incorporates an existing Victorian gatehouse lodge that served the neighbouring manor and a former Edwardian boathouse that had been used as offices, workspace and storage. Napier Clarke Architects was approached by Gage Properties to reimagine the industrial brownfield plot that had become underused and dilapidated.

Existing site

View of the existing industrial site and historic boathouse from the river Thames at Taplow.

The studio’s response to the brief was to retain the site’s character, spectacular waterside setting and historical buildings. The original boathouse is listed as a heritage asset in the local conservation plan. It forms the centre of the development’s design as an important piece in the social history and fabric of the area.


The existing building has been rescued and repurposed into two of the new residential units. Repeating the rhythm, scale and proportions of the old boathouse, this sets out the design of the masterplan. The six additional new-build homes continue along the riverfront beside the original building as a terrace of gable-ended longhouses. The project’s material palette and architectural features are inspired by the boathouse, including the arched windows, slate roofs and dark brick plinth. The light stretcher bond brickwork complements the context, with the light tones selected to reflect and shimmer on the water.

Axonometric drawing of the existing site showing the historic boathouse, industrial units and the Victorian lodge along the roadside of the river site at Taplow.

Every element of the development is designed to maximise the tranquil river setting. The houses have expansive glazing with panoramic views onto the Thames. The first-floor level is set back to create an upper terrace from which to enjoy the sunset. Back of house functions are positioned in the centre of the individual house plans. At the same time, the project carefully considers and mitigates flood risk. The buildings are raised 900mm above ground level with tiered private gardens to enjoy the river to the rear.


The Old Boathouse is due to complete early spring 2024. Gage Properties has commissioned Napier Clarke Architects to design the second phase of the project, which includes a public route through the development and new pedestrian bridge to connect onto the facing island in the Thames.


The new-build houses replicate the double gable form of the historic boathouse and stagger along the site at the entrance side.

Model showing the roof plan of the eight new homes as part of The Old Boathouse housing development.

Site plan

Ground floor plan of The Old Boathouse development at Taplow, Berkshire.

On site progress

The Old Boathouse housing development designed by Napier Clarke Architects under construction, view from the river Thames.



Main Contractor - Vulcan Ellis

Project Manager and Quantity Surveyor - Quartz

Structural and Civils Engineer - Fairhurst

Services Engineer - Meinhardt UK

Landscape Architect - Guarda landscape

Fire Consultant - Osbourn Associates

Acoustic Consultant - RSK

Visualisation – Napier Clarke