The project brief was for the design of a sports centre
including an Olympic size swimming pool, a leisure pool and a sports hall as
well as supporting admin and public facilities. An additional open air
multipurpose space with viewing steps has been designed as an extention of the
enclosed internal area. The three main venues can be immediately recognised
under the three copper arched roofs. The complex is to be open to the public and
operate as a social hub for the neighbouring areas.
The site is located next to a railway line that has divided
these areas and one of the challenges of the new scheme was to try and
reinstate their connection. In order to achieve this with the most effortless
and subtle way, the central roof of the complex is designed as a ramp that
begins from street level and rises above the main entrance between the three
venues and from there continues as a bridge that links the gap of the railway
The size of the ramp and the low pitch of the roof intent
to transform this ramp in the form of the pedestrian road and welcome street
events. The visual conection with the sports venues allowes the ramp to become
a vewing platform or – depending on the programme fo the events – become a
stage that houses some of the events.
The structure of the main venues consists of three
copper-clad domes supported on arched steel trusses that allow wide
multi-storey spans, as required for the sport venues. The social character of
the complex and the connection with the neighbourhood is encouraged by the
transparency of the extensive glazing on the external envelope.