Lancaster University Sports Centre
Lancaster University’s Sports Centre extension introduces a high calibre sporting venue within a bold and distinctive design. The development sympathetically compliments the existing Sports Centre and enhances the gateway entrance to the University campus, combining an increase in flexible sports provision with the experience of an exhilarating sports arena atmosphere.
Phase 1B sees the core facilities of the Sports Centre expanded, delivering a new 8 badminton court-sized, Sport England premier standard sports hall with bleacher seating to create an arena for spectators. The main hall will be supported by internal storage, plant room, foyer with a cleaner’s storage and accessible WC, and a flexible multi-purpose room to be used as required by the University.
The University brief established core aims for the scope, which was further developed with the end user to allow for best value in the final design. This also included ease of maintenance, future proofing the IT infrastructure, and tying the building back to both the existing sports centre as well as Phase 1A, the striking first floor red box extension, itself designed and delivered by jmarchitects.
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The steeply sloping site created unavoidable natural constraints, particularly with the large and specific footprint size required to the sports hall and its accompanying ancillary areas. In addition, an immovable handover date set to tie in with the largest varsity sports competition in Europe defined a restricted programme.
Comprehensive co-ordination between the consultants produced a stepped solution to the building that required detailed design input from an early stage. Ongoing communication between the consultants and the end user was critical to early identification and resolution of aspects of the project that may have affected the programme.
Currently in work stage 5, the design of the development has been well received by the University, and has benefitted from a robust design process by the consultants, analysing and incorporating feedback from the end user throughout to best provide value and achieve the programme dates set.
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