The client’s brief was for a sustainable, beautifully crafted building for the whole community: it provides facilities for non-swimmers and swimmers alike including exhibition space, a meeting room, café and gardens, in addition to the 25m 5 lane pool, learner pool and fitness suite.
Sustainability was a key driver for both client and architect. Environmental issues, our previous experience of pool buildings and a love of natural materials led us to the principle of a timber framed building clad in materials which will weather gracefully over many years without the need for regular maintenance.
The building takes the form of two linked volumes. The dominant form clad in oak and roofed in copper sits next to a lower and longer copper box. The copper volume is cut away on the east side to reveal the Douglas fir and slate interior. The roof structure gradually changes towards the high street and creates a double curvature roof visible from several angles. We needed a material which could cope with the complex geometry and would enhance the appearance of the building.
Copper was an obvious choice because of its longevity, sustainability credentials and beauty. We wanted to create a significant building with strong impact when seen from the high street. We wanted a building which would mature beautifully alongside the newly planted park. One of the principle attractions of copper in this instance was that it will continue to change over the years, developing its own unique patina in the salty coastal air.