British Waterways



Office Barge

Commercial Office Barges

Two barges, the " Renaissance " and " Judith ", each with a length of 25m were built by Manor Marine for British Waterways in London. The " Work on Water " concept for the barges resulted in an outward appearance inspired by traditional working barges whilst providing a modern working environment. 

The "Renaissance" has been finished in the original black and red livery of the MOD barges. Although constructed in steel for a 21st Century purpose, the barges capture much of the character of a classic wooden sailing barge complete with masts, spars, rigging, furled sails, lee boards and deck equipment. The dummy Halyard winches were constructed and mechanisms of old crab type hand winches were used to fabricate the anchor windlasses. 

The floating work space provides a modern 1,000ft open plan office space, with natural lighting via double glazed skylights and dark tinted flush fitting ships side windows. An oak panelled door in the ship's side is the main concession necessary from the original barge concept to provide access to the office accomodation. The entrance landing, steps down to the office space and the internal floorings are fitted out in polished oak, a natural finish enhancing the workspace. 

All ducting, pipework and air handlers were concealed behind the liners. Electrical control panels, water heaters and other related equipment were also hidden from view and installed in a purpose built plant room in the stern. Facilities included a fitting kitchens and toilets with disabled provision. Wheelchair lifts were also installed to provide access to the office space. 

Scroll work has been included on the transom of the "Judith", with ornate work on the bulwarks of both barges. 

On completion both barges were delivered by water along the coast from Dorset into the Thames and up the river Lee to their permanent mooring.