Dramatic design unveiled for indoor Swindon ski centre inspired by railway heritage

The complex will bring a neglected site back into use and provide visitors with a memorable experience, both on and off the slopes
– Russ Davenport, FaulknerBrowns partner

Sports and leisure specialists FaulknerBrowns Architects have submitted a planning application for a major new indoor snow centre and leisure destination in Swindon, UK.

Plans for the destination include a 2,00sq m (21,500sq ft) snow centre featuring two real-snow slopes; a 12-screen cinema with the largest IMAX screen in the UK; a bowling alley; an indoor trampolining centre; a 130-room hotel; and a variety of shops, bars and restaurants.

The project is being developed by Seven Capital, and, if approved by Swindon Borough Council, it will become the seventh indoor slope in the UK.

The scheme, earmarked as a priority by the council, will bring back into use former-industrial land to the north of Swindon town centre known as the North Star site.

The land, which sits adjacent to Oasis Leisure Centre, was previously occupied by the Great Western Railway Works – demolished almost a decade ago to make way for redevelopment.

In reference to this railway heritage, the design of the centre’s sweeping roof structure bears similarities with curved Victorian railway stations, such as Bristol Temple Meads a few stops down the track from Swindon. Enveloping steel columns, vertical brick piers and a two-storey brick arched base also echo this heritage, with the latter creating a framework for shop fronts.

The two linear convergent slopes inside the building frame the corner of the site and form a backdrop for a circular rotunda, which contains restaurants with external ‘terraces’ on the ground floor and the multiplex cinema above. The main building and the rotunda are linked by a dramatic glass atrium which provides a theatrical entrance space to the complex.

This is the fifth indoor ski centre designed by FaulknerBrowns. Partner Russ Davenport said: “It’s fantastic to be able to bring our experience and expertise in indoor snow and leisure destinations to Swindon for this exciting development.

“The complex will bring a neglected site back into use and provide visitors with a memorable experience, both on and off the slopes.”

The practice are currently working on a host of other leisure projects, including a sustainable sports facility for the University of Portsmouth, an indoor waterpark in Coventry, a swimming and leisure facility in Derby and a regeneration scheme in Bangor, Northern Ireland.

FaulknerBrowns  ski centre  Seven Capital  Swindon Borough Council 
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