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FaulknerBrowns’ £53m sports centre for University of Portsmouth wins planning

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FaulknerBrowns’ designs for a £53 million indoor sports centre at the University of Portsmouth have won approval from city council planners

The new 11,000 m² building, to be built on the university’s campus in Ravelin Park, will feature an eight-lane swimming pool, a fitness suite, a sports hall, a climbing wall and squash courts.

The facility is the first major phase of the university’s estate masterplan, which aims to create a ‘welcoming gateway’ between the old city of Portsmouth and the city centre campus.

The sports centre will also include studios, climbing and bouldering facilities, a ski simulator, teaching facilities and office space.

According to the architect, the building will set new sustainability standards for a sports building and is on target to be the first of its type in the UK to be rated BREEAM Outstanding.

FaulknerBrowns partner Michael Hall said: ‘We are delighted to have received planning consent for the project. Having worked closely with the university and planners, this will set a significant benchmark for future buildings in the university masterplan and generally across the city.’

Work is expected to start on site this autumn and complete in late 2020.

Architect’s view

The building design strategy places the dry sport activities addressing the urban edge, while the pool is positioned in the setting of the park. The constrained volume of the sports hall has been raised up to the first level, allowing the transparent and vibrant spaces, such as the fitness suite and studios, to be placed at ground level, providing animation to the adjacent public realm.

Influenced by the principles of active design, the transparency of the ground plane blends the relationship between the inside and the outside, spilling activity from the building into an attractively landscaped public environment. This openness and inclusivity serves to inspire students, members of staff and the public to engage and participate.

The first floor is wrapped by a contextual band of terracotta baguettes in six natural tones related to the brick buildings prevalent in the immediate context. Varied ‘hit and miss’ colour combinations add visual interest, vibrancy and depth to the façade.

’The first floor is wrapped by a contextual band of terracotta baguettes’

The elevated sports box provides a light, neutral backdrop to the rich identity of the terracotta contextual band. Vertically orientated metallic panels provide a sophisticated skin which blends naturally with the sky.

The building will set new standards for sustainability for a sports building and as is on target to be the first of this type in the UK to be BREEAM rated Outstanding.

Considered arrangement of the building’s spaces provides the opportunity to exploit natural light and ventilation, while top lighting of the sports hall and pool hall provides further opportunity for energy reduction. An array of photovoltaic panels and a biodiverse green roof bolster the buildings sustainability credentials further.

 

APPROVED: FaulknerBrown's sports centre for the University of Portsmouth

APPROVED: FaulknerBrown’s sports centre for the University of Portsmouth

APPROVED: FaulknerBrown’s sports centre for the University of Portsmouth

 

Project data

Type of project: University Sports Facility
Client: University of Portsmouth
Architect: FaulknerBrowns Architects
Landscape architect: LDA Design
Planning consultant: Barton Willmore
Structural engineer: Mott Macdonald
M&E consultant: Max Fordham
Quantity surveyor: Gleeds
Planning supervisor: N/A
Lighting consultant: Max Fordham
Main contractor: not yet appointed
Funding: University of Portsmouth
Tender date: Summer 2018
Start on site date: Autumn 2018
Completion date: Autumn 2020
Contract duration: 2 years
Gross internal floor area: 11,000 m²
Form of contract and/or procurement: Two Stage D&B
Total cost: £53million

APPROVED: FaulknerBrowns' sports centre for the University of Portsmouth

APPROVED: FaulknerBrowns’ sports centre for the University of Portsmouth

APPROVED: FaulknerBrowns’ sports centre for the University of Portsmouth

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