March House is a single-storey home located on a reach of the River Thames that, until the 1980s, was only accessible by boat.
The house was designed by Knox Bhavan Architects with the need for future-proofing at the forefront of the design considerations. Due to its flood-prone environment, the house is elevated 1.5m above the ground on a steel-framed platform. It is designed to accommodate the site’s predicted increased flood risk for generations to come.
The envelope of the house is constructed from prefabricated and insulated load-bearing floor and wall cassettes, which are fabricated from OSB (Orientated Strand Board). Access to the site is down a steep track by the river, so the OSB construction ensured that the building is lightweight, and was quick to assemble, with minimal waste. While modular, the house is at the same time extremely bespoke. The OSB wall cassettes were custom-designed and -fabricated to accommodate the client’s mid-century furniture collection.
Price & Myers is undertaking pioneering work with the use of OSB, through research and development, to extend its structural capabilities. It provides a more sustainable material option, as it is made from a combination of recycled timber and timber flakes from small waste timber production, that is difficult to use elsewhere in architecture. This home is part of an evolving series of OSB projects that Price & Myers has carried out with the client and Blok Build, the contractor. In this instance Price & Myers worked both as the client’s engineer and contractor’s engineer.
March House won the 2022 Manser Medal for the AJ House of the Year.