Water Sports Centre
Brief and Response
GLM were appointed to produce a concept design as part of a feasibility study for a watersports centre in a disused gravel pit in the East Midlands. The brief was for a building that provided both the robust functional accommodation and high quality flexible accommodation for catering for events. This brief was developed into a building with two contrasting storeys. Approaching the building from the car park behind takes you across a bridge as the site falls towards the water and brings you into the upper storey
– a lightweight tensile fabric pavilion with frameless glazing.. By day this storey contains the reception, shop and café with a small servery pod to one end and covered terraces to either side from which to observe the activity on the water below. At night it can be transformed into a function venue able to seat one hundred. A stair plunges down from here into a very different floor below - a heavy gabion clad block partly bedded into the slope and with corten steel detailing and minimal openings.
This contains all the functional accommodation – kitchen, toilets, changing rooms and boat shed – and opens onto the water front. This all creates a dramatic transition from the light tent structure above through a dark cavern and emerging again into a bright world of water, activity and fun.