Article written by Jon Astbury for Architects' Journal, August 14th, 2017.
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The new spaces replace outdated facilities with two sustainable, curved blocks
RH Partnership has completed work on a new water sports facility for Eastleigh Borough Council. Occupying 60 acres on the outskirts of Eastleigh in Hampshire, Lakeside Country Park’s lakes, wet meadow and woodland attract approximately 10,000 visitors a year.
The commission was to replace the outdated existing facilities in a manner that would embrace its rural setting. Sustainability was a chief concern for the council, which was focused on minimising energy and water consumption once in use, generating renewable energy on-site and increasing flexibility for future hire by a wider range of local groups. The facility has achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating, and sustainable features include photovoltaic and solar-thermal panels on a green roof, rainwater harvesting to flush the toilets and low energy lighting.
The new accommodation is split into two low-rise buildings which hug the contours of the land. The first houses multi-purpose spaces suitable for functions and group activities, staff offices and office space for partner organisations. In addition, it offers improved and expanded changing rooms to facilitate a significant increase in timetabled activities, better accessibility and improved security that allows adult and child classes to run concurrently.
The adjacent building includes public toilets that serve the wider park, a vehicle store and workshop for use by council staff, and a range of storage rooms for user equipment.
The finished building is a stunning example of contextual architecture, embracing sustainable technologies and providing a functional space for a variety of audiences. It is wholly sympathetic to its local environment without compromise to beauty and design.
Angela Taylor, project manager for Eastleigh Borough Council
Start on site August 2015
Completion October 2016
Gross internal floor area 800m²
Form of contract JCT Standard Building Contract
Construction cost £3.1 million
Architect R H Partnership
Client Eastleigh Borough Council
Structural engineer Hemsley Orrell Partnership
M&E consultant Delta Green (Sustainability & BREEAM)
Quantity surveyor Julian Church & Associates
Other specialist consultants Lizard Landscape Design and Ecology
CDM coordinator JCA
Main contractor The Construction Partnership
CAD software used Revit
Annual CO2 emissions 128.1kg/m² (estimated)