A classy athletic center redefines
© Ian Lawson
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& drawings' above.
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behind this project click on 'people & products.'
The Venue, located in North London, was
conceived as the area's flagship leisure center to replace
an existing 1960s swimming pool and village hall. A number
of high profile facilities and corporate headquarters are
located nearby, but the urban landscape has been eroded or
does not exist. This new facility seeks to bring life to the
street, addressing it in a dynamic way. This is manifested
in the V precast concrete "Churchillian" columns,
which present a strong visual image on the exterior.
The building houses an 8-lane competition
swimming pool with 300 spectator seats in a double-height,
naturally-lit space supported by a teaching pool and changing
facilities. At first-floor level, there is a glazed fitness
center overlooking the street and the main pool hall. A dance
studio, health suite, beauty treatment rooms, and function
spaces complete the facilities.
The client wanted a building that did
not reflect the harshness and sterility typical of public
athletic centers in England. This led to the use of natural
materials to soften the ambience while providing hard-wearing
and robust surfaces. Terracotta panels, limestone floors,
and dark oak finishes to the upper level combine with tiled
pool areas, high-tech frameless glazed walls, and discreet
theatrical lighting to create a visually exciting facility.
The local authorities are justifiably proud of this redefinition
of a public facility, designed with a style and quality to
compete with the best of commercial facilities built today.
71,124 sq ft
Hertsmere Borough Council
Dobson House, Northumbrian Way
Killingworth, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 6QW