Jai Sanghera, dn-a’s Chairman & Co-Founder, presented the ‘Wellbeing and Environmental Design’ prize, for fourth year individual projects, to Emily Tunnacliffe’s, “The Waterhouse”, for its innovative design of a surfing/wellness therapy centre in Bath.

Harking back to the principles of the Roman Baths Emily’s surfing retreat pays homage to the rich cultural history of Bath.  Simultaneously, she embraces the new, adopting mindfulness principles in the ethos of her design.  Championing surf therapy and physical wellness, and the positive impact these have on mental health, Emily has designed a holistic, sustainable scheme that promotes wellbeing at its core.

Emily espouses surfing as a ‘way of life’, as a sustainable, active lifestyle choice that promotes wellness and respects the environment. The scheme considers the cultural and social identity of Bath, and its community, through upgrading and enhancing the riverside setting, the sports economy and healthy urban living. She integrates a hydropower dam into the scheme, promoting renewable energy. The water in use will be treated using UV light instead of chemicals and the design of the wellbeing centre itself will be constructed using recycled material excavated from the groundworks. Thoughtful attention has been paid to the biodiversity of the scheme and the desire to re-establish woodland shows a deep-rooted commitment to environmental principles.

Emily thought in depth about the partnerships needed to make the project a reality and truly understood the clients’ brief and desires. Through encouraging companies involved to be B-Corporations Emily has sought to ensure the highest standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and sustainability.

‘Building in harmony with the landscape and a long-standing centre of healing, Bath has a platform from which to develop a broader economy around healthy living and influence sustainable lifestyles… The surf lake should encourage a sport that promotes a sustainable culture and an active way of life’ – Emily Tunnacliffe

The attention to detail in her design and the clearly explained, detailed research into the context of her project, made her scheme stand out. Consistently evaluating her project within the context of local and global problems, Emily has designed a scheme that responds to these problems with advanced technical understanding, thoughtful inquisition of the global context, and an in-depth interrogation of the local context and how the design will honour the community.


University of Bath Annual Showcase


Jai would like to thank the University of Bath for inviting dn-a to get involved with the University of Bath Architecture Annual Showcase. Read Jai’s AJ Article on his thoughts of the University of Bath’s Architecture Annual Showcase.