29 Sydney Buildings, Bathwick, Bath
29 Sydney Buildings is a Grade II early 19th century detached residential building by John Pinch situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It directly overlooks the Kennet & Avon Canal to the rear, with the upper floors clearly visible from the towpath. The rear elevation is of a symmetrical three bay form, with a later projecting central bay inserted within the original Georgian façade. This has resulted in an increased emphasis on the central bay as the focal viewpoint of the building on both streetside and canalside elevations, within public views.
Whilst we acknowledge that the sunken and screened location of the proposed extension is of low public visibility, we feel that the proposed wrap-around aspect of the extension, and particularly its interaction with the projecting bay, offsets the retained symmetrical architectural emphasis of the building and disturbs the clean line of the bay running up the centre of the building. We feel that the design could therefore be more responsive to the particular visual interest of the building, and suggest that this could be stepped back to tuck into the side of the projecting bay, rather than enclosing it.
We additionally note that the stepped access between the ‘Level 0’ and ‘Level 1’ floors seems to have been removed in the proposed plans. From the plans, it therefore appears that ‘Level 0’ and the proposed extension would only be externally accessible from the side entrance from Sydney Buildings, and would be cut off from the upper floors of the building. We strongly recommend that further information is provided regarding this potential aspect of the scheme to clarify how the plan form and access of the building would be impacted.
We strongly recommend that further design details are submitted for the proposed iron railings, particularly the proposed new railings to be fitted in a like-for-like style on the east elevation.