Posted on: 8th May 2023


The Japanese-inspired boathouse has won a RIBA East award and the RIBA Small Project of the Year, as well as winning an Architects’ Journal Award.

The Architects’ Journal Award winners were revealed at an event in London on Wednesday 3 May and the Boathouse won the small projects sustainability prize.

A regional RIBA jury reviewed the shortlist of 14 buildings and winning projects were announced at the end of May.

We’re incredibly proud to have been involved in this multiple award-winning project!


The Boathouse, designed by Ashworth Parkes Architects, was inspired by the traditional Japanese temples and ceremonial buildings and there was a very deliberate intention to maintain the spirit of Japanese framing.

The client was conscious of wanting to build it as sustainably as possible so chose English larch as the main material.⁠

They also didn’t want to include any mechanical fixings in the frame. This was done by using intricate jointing methods that don’t need any screws or nails in the frame – all joints are secured with either drawn round pegs or square pegs in round holes.⁠

To fix the boarding to the roof rafters of the frame the team used wooden nails (which are compressed and resin beech and are driven in by an air gun) and therefore further avoided the use of mechanical fixings and glue.⁠

Carpenter Oak provided technical design support, fabrication & install supervision for this unique building in Autumn 2021.

You can read more about this project in our case study.

Photography: Matthew Smith