March House/ Knox Bhavan Architects

“A prefabricated, timber frame, stilt house, hovering above the flood plain with a beautifully planted garden, on the banks of the River Thames.”

The single-storey building, situated on a natural floodplain on the banks of the River Thames, required great sensitivity in terms of structural design and building methodology.

Because our system is infinitely customisable, early collaboration with architects and engineers empowers us creatively, adding value in sustainability and efficiency. For March House, we identified that enlarging our floor cassettes would demand fewer steel supporting beams. And upping the load-bearing capacity of our roof cassettes enabled the incorporation of a green roof. Both adaptations significantly lowered the embodied carbon of the building. Early engagement allowed us to factor in access restrictions into the design of our cassettes, ensuring smooth access down a single-track road.

The compatibility of our system with a wide range of foundation scenarios and site conditions facilitated a solution of galvanised steel stilts fixed to concrete piles, raising the structure 1.8m above ground. On-site, the speed and ease of installing our system reduced risk on a site susceptible to flooding during the build phase.

The techniques and customisations developed on March House fed into our continually evolving and expanding system. Every commission, whether it’s a private home or large-scale development, reaps the collective benefit of past proven innovations.

Architect: Knox Bhavan Architects

Location: Marlow, Sussex

Engineer: Price&Myers

Process: Design development, DfMA optimisation and system application. Off-site manufacture, on-site assembly.  RIBA South’s Sustainability Award

Awards: AJ Manser Medal 2022, South RIBA Regional Award 2023, RIBA South’s Sustainability Award

Photography of completed build: Edmund Sumner