The new sports complex sits on the northern end of the East Park Terrace (EPT) campus, next to Solent’s Spark building, which opened at the start of the academic year 2016/17. The new structure will link to the rest of the EPT site to create a thriving, student community across a range of excellent facilities.
The appointed architects for the sports complex, Architecture PLB, designed the building to fit with its current surroundings. The hard landscape will pick up on the materials used in the Spark, but will introduce an ‘accent’ brick material that will provide a dark contrast to the surrounding, paler landscaping.
The complex has two distinct parts, which will be clad in contrasting materials. The gym tower has a striking perforated facade which wraps the entire building, covering some windows and exposing others to reveal the activities within. At night, the covered windows will be revealed, creating a dynamic change to the look of the building.
By altering the size of the circular perforations in the aluminium rain screen cladding, the team designed a striking pattern across the façade based on an abstraction of the pre-war street layout of the surrounding area. The design team felt it was important to document the ‘lost history’ of the site and root the complex to its location.
The complex has been designed to achieve BREEAM excellent as well as comply with Southampton City Council’s Core Strategy Policy – tackling and adapting climate change.