Willowbrook Pavilion, Eton College in Berkshire

Willowbrook Pavilion, Eton College, Berkshire building, English Educational Sports Facility, Images

Willowbrook Pavilion, Eton College in Berkshire

New Sports Facility in Southeast England, UK – design by Lewandowski Architects

1 Jul 2019

Willowbrook Pavilion

Design: Lewandowski Architects

Location: Eton, Berkshire, South East England

Willowbrook Pavilion Eton College in Berkshire

Lewandowski Architects have revealed images of the Willowbrook Sports Pavilion, the latest in a series of projects for Eton College. Eton was founded by King Henry VI in 1440; throughout its history it has been one of the leading independent schools in the UK and continues to provide a stimulating all-round education, coupled with academic excellence. 

Willowbrook Pavilion Eton College in Berkshire

Willowbrook Pavilion Eton College in Berkshire

The Willowbrook Pavilion was designed to replace the existing facility which was no longer able to meet the demands of the school and, importantly, the wider local community. The brief encompassed a new single-storey structure with a range of accessible facilities for both athletes and spectators alongside two all-weather pitches, practice area and associated landscaping.

Willowbrook Pavilion Eton College in Berkshire

Lewandowski Architects were faced with a number of challenges from the outset: the site is located in a flood plain within the metropolitan green belt, in a remote area of redundant scrubland. The existing site was reviewed and the new pavilion was relocated to ensure several sightlines across the tennis courts and new all-weather pitches. The pavilion has been designed to ‘float’ above the ground, with a raised ground floor to protect it from potential flood levels.

Willowbrook Pavilion Eton College in Berkshire

The use of floor to ceiling corner glazing and retractable screens allows the building to open up fully to its surroundings when in use, providing views from two levels- the reception hall and viewing terrace. When fully closed the sheer black structure almost disappears, with Shou Sugi Ban charred timber cladding meticulously set out and detailed, creating a striking building from all scales.

Willowbrook Pavilion Eton College in Berkshire

Willowbrook Pavilion Eton College in Berkshire

Choice of materials played a crucial role in creating a sense of connection with the building’s environment. Internally a simple material palette of polished concrete floors, black accessories, and other cool-toned furnishings are deployed.

Willowbrook Pavilion Eton College in Berkshire

Willowbrook Pavilion Eton College in Berkshire

To add warmth, birch ply is used to clad the building’s interior, also helping to provide a robust and light internal environment. Externally the charred timber cladding sympathetically refers to its surroundings.

Willowbrook Pavilion Eton College in Berkshire

Both client and architect were keen to work with local community stakeholders. The creation of an inclusive facility for a large catchment area, through a Community Use Agreement, has proven very popular with residents in the Slough borough.

Willowbrook Pavilion Eton College in Berkshire

Willowbrook Pavilion Eton College in Berkshire

Dan Lewandowski, Director of Lewandowski Architects, commented, “The Willowbrook Sports Pavilion will help Eton extend its aim of being at the forefront of education through sport. Furthermore, this project is the first example of the school opening up their facilities to the wider community, setting a precedent for future projects.”

Willowbrook Pavilion Eton College in Berkshire

Ian Mellor, Building and Facilities Director at Eton College, said, “The Willowbrook Sports Facilities scheme was challenging in a number of respects but Lewandowski Architects rose to the challenge admirably. Their exceptional design and management skills saw us through from inception, through planning consent, to final completion. We are delighted with the quality of design and the development has made a substantial addition to the College’s facilities and the quality of experience offered to the boys.”

Willowbrook Pavilion Eton College in Berkshire

Willowbrook Pavilion, Eton College – Building Information

Location: Eton, Berkshire
Type of project: Independent school
Client: Eton College
Architect: Lewandowski Architects
Structural engineer: Team 4 Consulting
M&E engineer: Waterfox
Interior design: Lewandowski Architects
Landscape architect: Bowles and Wyer
Project Manager: N/A
Cost management: Hand Deere & Cox
Planning consultant: N/A
SIPS contractor: Bentley Projects
Joinery subcontractor: D.Smith Joinery
Shou Sugi Ban supplier: Exterior Solutions
Main contractor: Feltham Construction
Size: 290 sqm
Budget: Confidential
Completed: May 2018

Willowbrook Pavilion Eton College in Berkshire

Willowbrook Pavilion Eton College in Berkshire

Photography © Will Scott

Willowbrook Pavilion, Eton College in Berkshire images / information received 010719

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