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PROJECT REPORT: SPORTS & LEISURE FACILITIES


47


clients – they came to us with an aspiration and trusted us to develop the vision.” They had multiple meetings throughout the design process – which Davies says proved incredibly useful. “There were rigorous development meetings where we would come to the client with key briefing questions, which helped us know what they were thinking and what direction we were headed in,” he says. “Thorough and engaged meetings helped us address critical issues at each step to ensure key decisions were made within RIBA workstages.” It’s a process that the school also appreciated: “The planning result is testament to the excellent team and client working relationships we created,” says Owen Carlstrand, governor at the school. With the existing facilities having evolved over a long period, in an uncoordinated manner, many were in an unusable state. The swimming pool was “outdated,” says Davies, its dimensions unsuited to modern standards, and the gym facilities were also in need of updating – dedicated studio space was needed and the facilities were on the whole no longer adequate for the number of pupils. The masterplan therefore sought to “consolidate the sports buildings to a single location,” which pupils, staff and sports participants and swimming members of the ‘King’s Club’ can easily access. It also


proposed removing some of the outdated buildings to allow for more outdoor space to house playing fields, tennis courts, and cricket nets.


The practice came up with a design that would replace the existing swimming pool, tennis courts and cricket nets, and “absorb” the existing 1980s-built sports hall, and the squash courts, built in the 1990s. The new design comprises three linked pavilions – one housing a six lane, 25 metre swimming pool, and another the six-court sports hall – which can also accommodate assemblies and exams. Lastly, a central two storey pavilion is home to the reception, changing rooms, viewing galleries, a gym, exercise suite, and offices. Also added were six new outdoor tennis courts along with three cricket nets. The “real challenge,” says Davies, was integrating the new and existing facilities – “physically, practically and visually.” They wanted to ensure their concept would instantly look like it belonged alongside the other buildings on the site, “absorbing the courts and blending with the existing sports hall.” He continues: “The vision was to create not only excellent visual connections between indoors and outdoors to encourage physical activity among pupils, but also to connect the old facilities with the new.”


The new design comprises three linked pavilions – one housing a six lane, 25 metre swimming pool, and another a six-court sports hall


ADF MAY 2021


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