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SPORTS CENTRE, GRANGE OVER SANDS, CUMBRIA

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HODDER ASSOCIATES

Grange over Sands has been without a swimming pool since the 1930s lido closed six years ago. The site for its replacement is bounded by mature trees and slopes gently with a magnificent aspect towards Morecambe Bay.

The town is characterised by its fine grain and so the sports centre is divided into two volumes - the sports hall and the swimming pool - with a glazed link. Sea views are framed between the two, recalling similar glimpses down the flanks of the town's buildings. The structurally expressive pool protrudes out of the slope whereas the more reticent sports hall sinks into it.

A timber boardwalk runs from the entrance of the site between the buildings, again culminating with a view over the bay. A cafe-bar is located within this boardwalk. The 25 x 13m pool is reached by a glazed bridge; a staircase (and lift) lead down to the sports hall. The 33 x 18m sports hall is a purposeful contrast; its steel structure is internal, clad in cedar boarding on a stone plinth.

Modest elegance, rather than over-elaboration, is the intent from overall form to the fixings.

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