The Becontree Heath Leisure Centre was developed to combine the existing wet and dry sports facilities in the Becontree area of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. The development was sited at one of the boroughs busiest road junctions and as a result there were numerous construction constraints, such as site access, service diversions and traffic control measures to be considered. Site safety and security were paramount due to a concentration of schools surrounding the site.
The building design was developed with an orthogonal concept in mind and hugs the site boundary with a series of angular facades created to provide a pictorial statement from every approach to the busy junction. The building materials were selected with this concept in mind and also create a sense of unconformity with their quirky angles and shapes.
The design created a continuation of the Wood Lane pedestrian route with the formation of an internal street directing building users to a central hub where the reception and café areas are found. A tributary link directs users further into the heart of the building and its many facilities. Particular attention was paid to producing a durable facility requiring minimal maintenance and long term costs for the client. The centre provides a unique 25m square pool, learner pool, four court multi-sports hall, fitness suite, two dance studios, multi -use community space, café and kids play area.
Providing full design team services S&P had to develop the scheme in close consultation with the client team and carefully consider the needs of the local community involving them in a series of workshops. Careful attention was paid to developing a fully accessible facility that ticked all the boxes of the council’s access officers, resulting in a certification of excellent from the visual and audible inspectors.