project profile

Sport and Wellness Hub

The University of Warwick’s £49m investment in sport and wellness facilities is part of a wider strategy to promote health and wellbeing across the campus.

YOU can’t fail to be impressed by the new Sport and Wellness Hub at the University of Warwick. From one of the UK’s largest gyms and a 12-court sports arena to a climbing area that houses one of only two speed walls of its kind in the UK, the scale and quality of the facilities is remarkable. Perhaps more remarkable is the fact that the hub has been designed to be both inclusive and inspirational to encourage physical activity among all students, staff and the wider community. “The Hub is so much broader than just sport. Whilst the sports facilities are exceptional, the building provides opportunities for all. It caters for elite athletes and those who want to swim once a month, and everyone in between; it’s an inspiring and motivating space,” says Gemma Carter-Morris, head of sport and active lifestyles at Warwick Sport.

The university aims to become the most active campus in the UK by 2020. In addition to the wide range of facilities and programmes on offer at the Hub, the university delivers an outreach programme throughout the campus to take physical activity to students, staff and departments. This includes classes, pop up sport and events. It has also invested in a new 4G pitch and water-based pitch as well as an outdoor activity zone.

design driving usage

David Morley Architects worked with the university to create a campus wide master plan and to design the Sport and Wellness Hub to realise the university’s aspirations for an active campus. The vision was to create a building where activity can be seen without taking part and which has good views to the surrounding landscape.

“David Morley Architects understood our DNA and really grasped what we were trying to achieve. The project was a real team effort and this relationship meant we got exactly the building we needed, which met our three objectives of being distinctive, sustainable and increasing participation,” says Carter-Morris. The atrium gives views to all of the main activity areas. Climbing and squash are on display on entry into the building and visitors can also watch the activity taking place in the arena and swimming pool without going through any access control. The outdoor terrace gives views of netball, five-a-side


The Hub links to other facilities via a network of paths, cycle ways and activity areas.

community engagement

Engaging with the local community is a key strategic aim for the university and the new Sport and Wellness Hub is critical to developing partnerships and expanding its programmes to

meet their needs. A number of local sports clubs and community groups are using the new facilities for regular training sessions. For children, the university has launched learn to swim lessons as well as the Les Mills’ Born to Move programmes. And its Bear Cubs Junior climbing programme is enjoying new growth now that it has relocated to the Hub. The university has also launched community memberships and junior membership options to encourage use of the facilities among the community.

The new facilities also allow the university to host large-scale events to further raise its profile.

“We are building partnerships with national governing bodies to host a number of large events that will be open to the community to either take part in or come and

football and the surrounding landscape. “The use of glass and wood brings a natural feel to the building and brings the beautiful Warwickshire countryside inside. Users of the pool and gym have views of trees and flowers outside showing the synergy between the building and the surrounding space,” says Carter-Morris.

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