This project for Alfriston School, a secondary day and boarding school for girls in Buckinghamshire, involved the construction of a new 750m² swimming pool and sports department. The school was officially launched as a Sports College in September 2009 and caters for pupils with varying special educational needs.
The building has a floating timber roof, which houses a four-lane swimming pool, changing areas, gymnasium, fitness suite and offices.
The structural challenges included realising the complex geometries in the roof whilst maintaining an open soffit. A system of panels was developed using cross laminated timber boarding fixed to glue laminated beams. The roof panels act as the structural elements spanning the swimming pool and provide stability.
Small diameter steel columns were designed to act as cantilever from the reinforced concrete retaining walls, transferring the vertical and horizontal loads from the roof structure. This method eliminates any cross-bracing and minimises the visual structure giving the appearance of a floating roof.
The competition project was won in 2008 with Elliott Wood forming part of the winning design team with Duggan Morris Architects.
Architect: Duggan Morris Architects
Client: Alfriston School
Images by: Duggan Morris Architects & Elliott Wood