Highams Park School - Sports Hall

The client’s brief called for the location of the School’s new sports facilities to be carefully considered in relation to their existing all weather pitches, easy access for public use (whilst limiting public access to the rest of the School), the installation of a cycling track and the visual impact of a large building to its surroundings.

In order to support the continued life of the School the new building had to be completed before the existing sports hall could be demolished.

The new building has a 4-court hall with a 2-storey section adjacent including changing accommodation, a fitness room, a PE theory / aerobics room and state-of-the-art ancillary facilities. It is intended to open the sports hall for use by the local community, who will enter it directly from the new car park (on the site of the now demolished sports hall). A new fitness circuit (cycle/jogging track for PE fitness lessons) will encircle the hall and the all weather pitches.

Elevationally, the building is conceived as a simple envelope which is both sympathetic to its surroundings and hard wearing. The scale of the building has been visually reduced and softened by the use of gentle curving roofs. Furthermore, the external walls with punched windows are divided between brickwork at lower levels and render above to emphasise the horizontality of the building’s form.