Set over multiple levels and containing five residential pods built amongst numerous creative spaces, East Quay is a striking mixed-use development situated in Watchet, Somerset. The project was commissioned by local social enterprise Onion Collective. Invisible Studio was the concept architect, and Mark Anstey of Ellis Williams Architects was the project architect. Architects George Williams and Owen Hughes Pearce of PEARCE+Fægen designed the pod interiors.
The initial idea was one of collaboration, with Williams and Hughes Pearce choosing to pick up sticks and move to Watchet, immersing themselves within the community. To assist with this approach, tile and stone protection expert Schlüter-Systems provided its expertise and technical knowledge to help with the installation of some of its flagship products.
Due to the priceless artwork displayed on rotation within the creative spaces above and below the accommodation pods, a fully tanked waterproofing solution was high on the list of priorities. Pairing this with the innovative design elements required for each pod meant that the floor build up also needed to be taken into consideration. This is where Schlüter stepped in, putting together a specification for three of the pods, with East Midlands Ceramics supplying the Schlüter materials used.
“A hugely beneficial part of the process was being able to discuss the specification with the Schlüter team, particularly during early design stages,” says Williams. “Not only did they provide invaluable support regarding best practice, but they also put us in touch with EMC who supplied many products we used throughout the pod wetrooms.”
The theme of ‘Stories & Imagination’ runs throughout Pod two, with sketches outlining Watchet’s illustrious history adorning the walls. A DDA-compliant wetroom sits on the lower floor for full accessibility. Due to these requirements, Schlüter advised that a point drain would be most suitable and therefore suggested its Schlüter-KERDI-DRAIN point drain system as the perfect solution.
Pod four focuses on ‘Playful Architecture’ with the designers seamlessly intwining a stunning living space with playful elements like a cargo net across the mezzanine for children to enjoy. Pod five explores the idea of ‘Participatory Art’ with an area showcasing how a space can be transformed with contributions from visiting artists. Both pods needed linear drains, with the architects choosing to install the low-height version of the Schlüter-KERDI-SHOWER-LTS shower tray and its partner product, the Schlüter-KERDI-LINE-G3 drain for each. This guaranteed entry level access within the bathroom areas.
Reliable waterproofing was taken care of within the three pods with the help of uncoupling membrane Schlüter-DITRA. The innovative product provided numerous benefits for the project, such as crack-bridging, waterproofing and load distribution. “The versatility of Schlüter’s products made using their full waterproofing system an easy decision to make. It helped us deliver the project to the specification and standard required,” says Williams.
East Quay and its creative presence has given Watchet and the surrounding area a new lease of life, displaying just how vibrant and welcoming the town and community is. Pulling together unique and thought-provoking design elements with technical know-how was paramount in getting this project off the ground, and Schlüter is incredibly proud to have been part of it.
For more information, please visit the Schlüter-Systems website.