FaulknerBrowns targets new standards for sustainability with Portsmouth sports complex

This facility will create an environment which promotes health and wellbeing by inspiring people to be more active, throughout the University of Portsmouth, and the city as a whole
– Irina Korneychuk, FaulknerBrowns project leader

The University of Portsmouth has unveiled ambitious plans for a sustainable sports facility designed by architecture practice FaulknerBrowns.

The complex, located on the corner of Portsmouth’s Ravelin Park, is the first major phase of the university’s £400m (US$569m, €455m) estate development masterplan, which aims to reshape its city centre campus to enhance the student experience and establish a public-facing presence in the city centre.

The proposals – developed to “promote health and wellbeing through the provision of a wide range of opportunities for activity and movement” – include an eight-court sports hall, an eight-lane 25m swimming pool, a fitness suite, multipurpose studios, squash courts, a climbing wall and a ski simulator, as well as teaching facilities and office space.

The main sports hall will be housed within a solid and constrained volume that is raised to allow high-occupancy spaces, such as the fitness suite and studios, to be placed at ground level. According to FaulknerBrowns, this will “provide animation and interest to the city-facing entrance”.

“The transparency of the ground plane blends the relationship between the inside and the outside spilling activity from the building into an attractively landscaped public environment,” they said in a design statement.

“This openness and inclusivity serve to inspire students, members of staff and the public to engage and participate.”

The university is planning to set new standards for sustainability for a sports building, and an array of photovoltaic panels and a biodiverse green roof will be introduced to secure the first ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM rating for a facility of this type. A considered arrangement of the building’s spaces will exploit natural light and ventilation, and top lighting of the sports and pool halls will provide further opportunity for energy reduction.

Irina Korneychuk, project leader at FaulknerBrowns, said: “We’re excited to unveil our plans for a sports facility which promotes integration of the university campus with its surroundings and applies the contemporary principles of active design. This will create an environment which promotes health and wellbeing by inspiring people to be more active, throughout the University of Portsmouth, and the city as a whole.”

The practice will collaborate with engineering firms Max Fordham and Mott MacDonald and landscape architects LDA Design.

FaulknerBrowns are currently working on several other high-profile leisure projects in the UK, including an indoor waterpark in Coventry, a swimming and leisure facility in Derby and a regeneration scheme in Bangor, Northern Ireland.

University of Portsmouth  Portsmouth  FaulknerBrowns  Ravelin Park  BREEAM 
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Company profile: Alliance Leisure Services Ltd
The company’s core business is the provision of facility development and support for local authorities, educational establishments and leisure trusts that want to improve or expand the leisure products and services they offer.
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