Splashpoint Leisure Centre, Worthing Public Facility, West Sussex Development, English Architecture
Splashpoint Leisure Centre, Worthing
West Sussex Public Development – design by Wilkinson Eyre Architects
22 May 2013
Worthing Swimming Pool
Design: Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Location: Worthing, West Sussex, England
Wilkinson Eyre’s Splashpoint Leisure Centre on Worthing seafront opens to the public
Wilkinson Eyre Architects’ recently completed Splashpoint Leisure Centre opens this month, creating an important new public facility in a distinctive copper-clad building that overlooks the coast on Worthing seafront in West Sussex.
The £17.9 million project for Adur and Worthing Councils creates an exciting architectural addition to the town that provides an eastern “anchor” for Worthing Borough Council’s Seafront masterplan strategy.
Splashpoint, which replaces Worthing’s 1960s Aquarena leisure centre, has been designed to complement and enhance its prominent setting. The structure is clad in copper and Red Cedar, a palette of self-finished natural materials selected to age gracefully in the maritime conditions.
The dynamic, fragmented shape of the new leisure centre is arranged to respond to the surrounding mix of built forms and landscape. The building’s dramatic sawtooth roof, with its ranks of sinuous ridges, recalls a series of dunes that curve and twist towards the coast. This shape reduces the visual mass of the buildings and mediates the change in scale from the terraced houses that line the coastal road to the expansiveness of the open sea.
From the inside, the building is emphatically focussed towards the sea. The spans between the longitudinal ridges of the roof widen as the height of the building increases, running towards the sea and terminating in a series of glazed facades that directly overlook the water. The building has been raised so that from pool level, there is a powerful visual connection between the pool and the sea, creating the impression of an infinity pool. Each façade has its own terrace, animating the beachfront elevation and enlivening this prominent location in line with the Council’s aspirations for an Active Beach Zone.
Chris Wilkinson, Principal, Wilkinson Eyre Architects said:
“It’s always pleasing to work on a project that delivers so much benefit to the local community and a great privilege to design a building that occupies such a wonderful location.
“Worthing is one of the most quintessential English seaside towns , a place with an interesting history and a fantastic seafront. Our ambition was to design a building that carefully responded to these surroundings, creating a structure that has both a human and civic scale.
“Our building seeks to draw on forms already present in the town, taking on the undulating linearity of the ranks of surrounding terraced houses and the breakwater groynes on the beach. The building occupies a prominent location on the seafront, but rather than dominating the site in the style of a grand seaside pavilion, it sits informally, even playfully, within its setting.”
Sebastien Ricard, Director at Wilkinson Eyre Architects, said:
“We are delighted to have delivered such an ambitious scheme on time and on budget. The completed project, and the civic statement it makes, is testament to a client and project team that understood the potential to create a landmark building that sits comfortably within its remarkable setting.”
Paul Yallop, leader of Worthing Borough Council, said:
“I am so pleased to see this stunning leisure facility delivered on time and within budget. We are grateful to every member of the team which has delivered this wonderful asset for Worthing residents and visitors.”
Built by contractors Morgan Sindall and project managed by Deloitte Real Estate, the facilities housed within the new building include a six-lane, 25m competition pool with spectator seating for 100 people; a learner and diving pool; an indoor leisure pool with a flume and play facilities; an outdoor paddling pool; a health and fitness centre and a cafe.
Wilkinson Eyre was appointed to the project in 2009 after a hotly contested RIBA competition that attracted over 400 entries. The practice’s winning design was selected from a shortlist of six that included entries by Fielden Clegg Bradley, AHMM and Heatherwick Studio.
Splashpoint Leisure Centre images / information from Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Wilkinson Eyre previously won the Worthing Swimming Pool design competition.
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photograph © Tim Soar
Buildings in Sussex
Splashpoint Leisure Centre Worthing design : Wilkinson Eyre Architects
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Splashpoint Leisure Centre Building