Won in January 2008 through an invited competitive tender and interview process, the project seeks to extend an existing sports department within a special needs girls school, in Buckinghamshire, to provide a new four lane swimming pool, changing facilities, gym, fitness suite and administration block.
The new building, sits discreetly at the rear of the site, facing directly onto green belt land, and ‘plugged’ into the rear of an existing gym facility, housed within a 1980’s built pitched roof building. The design process has been intense over a year and a half, and has been developed in close collaboration with the school, parent governors, the local community and the pupils themselves. However, our involvement also extends to the wider issue of fund raising and consultancy on the school business plan, including potential class time tables, wider community use, life time and running costs as well as assisting in raising capital funding.
Heavily influenced by the wide ranging body of advisors and stakeholders, we have nevertheless strived to maintain authorship for the building form which is intended to be a contemporary expression of the local pitched roof vernacular, but executed with subtlety and sophistication.
The resulting scheme design, envisages a floating timber hat, articulated by three pitched roof segments which open out to the rear, inverting the pitch; evocative of ripples within the pool. This sculptural form, which is equally expressive internally, also serves as an acoustic baffle thus preventing a high reverberation of sound, which is a crucial aspect of the brief in consideration of the specific needs of the end users.