Revealed: finalists vying for Scottish national sport centre
The AJ can unveil the three finalists in the competition to build Scotland’s proposed new National Performance Centre for Sport (NPCS)
A scheme for Dundee, masterminded by Keppie and Dundee City Council and a proposal for Stirling, drawn up by FaulknerBrowns for Stirling University have been shortlisted against a bid from Edinburgh’s Heriott-Watt University designed by Reiach & Hall.
A preferred bidder is expected to be announced next month and the Scottish government has already agreed to cough up £25million towards the cost of the national showpiece which is due to open in 2016.
The concept of a national centre was developed following the McLeish report into the state of Scottish Football and will provide ‘Scotland’s top sportsmen and women with the facilities, access and support services pivotal for successful performance in the international stage.’
The facility will contain a multi-sport performance centre and house the National Football Academy.
The bids described:
Camperdown is set in an uncommonly beautiful location; an expansive green parkland with a quiet and relaxed environment, but close to the city centre of Dundee. Our proposal sought to harness this natural beauty whilst recognising that by placing a building there, its character would inevitably change. The site and its approach are breath-taking, and it provided the stimulus for a design which works with the topography to create synergy between building and landscaped context.
The concept of the design is mainly about connection and observation. There are a number of complex relationships and requirements to a National Elite Sports facility and the building simplifies these to allow the various needs of Elite Performance and Coaching Development to co-exist easily with a wider community aspiration.
All parts of the building are visually connected. The central street runs adjacent to an open courtyard which separates the Elite Performance parts of the facility, but allows all parts to feel equally important. Observation is a key part of sport and sporting development and the design promotes a very high level of this, both internally and externally.
The centre will be an icon within an icon. The University of Stirling has one of the most beautiful University campuses in Europe. Our setting, easy accessibility and central location in Scotland make the city an appealing choice for sportspeople.
The NPCS will be easily accessible, just 45 minutes from Glasgow and Edinburgh by road and rail, a few minutes from the M9 north-south motorway and served by three rail stations: Stirling, Bridge of Allan and Dunblane. Rail journey times from Glasgow and Edinburgh will reduce when the line is electrified in 2015-17, which will also bring a direct link to Edinburgh Airport.
Stirling Council’s Transport Strategy proposes a new direct road link from Junction 10 of the M9 to the entrance to the NPCS and a new gateway to accommodate cricket and curling developments at Stirling Sports Village.
Edinburgh [Reiach & Hall]
Edinburgh’s bid would see the centre built in the parkland setting of Heriot-Watt University’s extensive campus in the west of the city; it features a Hampden replica pitch; an outdoor synthetic pitch; four outdoor natural football and two rugby pitches; nine court sports hall; a 3G indoor football pitch and a fitness suite, and world class facilities for sports science and medicine all linked together by a spectacular sports promenade.
The design has been developed ‘around the athlete’, providing world class sporting facilities and services that will have a positive impact on the preparation and development of athletes, coaches and volunteers.
The site’s excellent transport links providing easy access to the city, Edinburgh Airport and the wider surrounding area, are also a key feature of Edinburgh’s bid.
It was also revealed that Edinburgh’s bid for the centres successfully secured a commitment from Scottish Rugby which has chosen the capital as its preferred location for a training base for Scottish and Edinburgh rugby. The NPCS would also accommodate the Scotland team during the Autumn Tests and Six Nations.
At the presentation Heriot-Watt University and the Council also underlined the strong support enjoyed by the Edinburgh bid with over 4000 pledges of support from the public, city sports clubs, neighbouring local authorities and businesses - including Edinburgh Airport.
A host of top name celebrities have also pledged their support for Edinburgh’s bid for the NPCS, including Olympians Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Steve Redgrave, rugby legend Gavin Hastings, leading footballer Michael Stewart and Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.