Our vision for this substantial regeneration development is to create a powerful, positive presence on the seafront, celebrating the idea of health, fitness and wellbeing in one of the most stunning and sensorily rich, if currently under-utilised, parts of the City.
The focus of the development is the new Sports and Leisure Centre, a civic building placed on the best part of the site, its most visible point to the west, with the pool hall roof - which features some of the longest free spans structurally - giving dramatic sculptural expression. This location ensures maximum transparency and legibility for this major community facility, a very real interaction of views between inside and outside and the immersion of the building and its users in the rich surroundings. it also ensures a positive and mutually responsive relationship between the Leisure Centre and the Western Lawns by complementary functions and visual connections.
The enabling development is planned around three courtyards, creating quiet and sheltered oases between the busy road, the A259, to the north, from which all apartments are accessed, through to the sea to the south. Commercial activity at ground level on the southern edge creates a new active seafront promenade.
The Sports and Leisure Centre, and the wider Enabling Development, has been designed as a “set-piece” to create an interesting silhouette, reminiscent of a collection of sails in the wind. The nautical theme is expanded in its colour - the colours of the sea on the towers and the use of the materials, the elevations providing a considered composition of aluminium, timber and glass that gives a feeling close-up of a group of ocean liners.
The proposals are geared to supporting the wider sustainable development goals of the City and had been developed in consultation with BioRegional in the adoption of the One Planet Living (OPL) framework as a tool for the design, delivery and onwards into operation.
KA Leisure Centre
The design raises the shed-like quality of many Sports and Leisure centres into a visually engaging building that connects the inside to its spectacular setting. The design of this Sports and Leisure Centre, as part of a larger mixed-use development, responds strongly to the visual prominence and exposure of the site. Choosing the western edge of the site for the facility elevates the building’s status, creating a much greater sense of place for the building and the adjacent Western Lawns, displaying a strong local identity and making a bold architectural statement.
The building’s architecture, along with the residential proposals behind, responds to the contrasting adjacent environments - the geometry of the landscape, the flat plane of the adjacent lawns, beach and sea, enhancing the effect of the angular and folding shapes of the building, acting on one hand as a beacon for the seafront but also respecting the scale of the immediate urban context.
The plan of the facility is arranged around a triple-height naturally lit “internal street”. This north-south route creates an important connection between the main entrance on the street with a secondary entrance on the seafront leading to one central control point, and at the same time navigates the user between the different levels and forms a central spine, dividing the wet and dry sports affording views into various activities and generally assisting in the legibility of the Centre.
The centre includes three interconnecting pools - teaching, competition (25m 8 lane) and leisure - all with views with the adjoining lawns or sea. The facility also includes:
- Reception/Cafe/soft Play/Creche
- 8 Badminton Court Sports Hall
- Multi-Purpose Hall
- Gymnastics Hall
- Several Studios – Dojo, quiet etc - /consultation rooms
- Fitness Gym and Spinning Room
- 3 rink bowls
- Wet and dry changing
KA Enabling Works
The enabling works support the development of a significant Sports & Leisure facility on a strategic seafront site in Brighton & Hove. There is the provision of 647 apartments and 3,600m² of food and beverage outlets. The form and layout of the project is generated from the understanding of the existing urban form and unique seaside location.
Whilst the proposed development is predicated on a design solution that opens up towards the sea, the exposed site calls for a sense of enclosure and protection from the elements. To achieve this the four “piers” are connected on the south side by lower linking blocks. This establishes three generous courtyards, sheltered from the winds at ground level but affording views of the sea and coastline above. The courtyards are the focus of the development; every apartment has a view into at least one of them. They are shared spaces providing access to homes, to meet neighbours and relax - they include play areas, soft landscape, places to grow food and ample provision for bicycles. The link blocks enclosing their south sides are low in height ensuring sunlight will penetrate the courtyards even in winter and at many times of the year they will become wind-sheltered sun traps.
The Esplanade is lined with a parade of cafes and restaurants facing the beach that would create a new vibrant seafront destination in Hove.
The distinctive silhouette is formed from the layering of the four residential blocks. These are referred to as piers in a clear structure of English seaside piers. In the same way, as piers are entered from the land and extend out towards the sea, these piers are approached from the main road and terminate in sweeping views of the English Channel.
Each pier has a sloping roof, three slope to the south and one to the north with varying heights to acknowledge the scale of the surrounding buildings and to create an exciting silhouette for distant views along the coast and to create a sculptural form with views from the South Downs.