Sports halls are necessarily functional single volumes, large and high, as defined by pitch layouts and DfES and Sport England guidelines. The design challenge for Kingsdale School Sports Hall was to turn a generic low-budget box into daylit and expressive architecture.Music building = noise?
In addition to specific brief parameters, and the desire to make exemplary architecture for this scheme, dRMM imposed the criteria of angular form (for acoustic reverberation reasons), and totally sustainable prefabricated construction. This called for mass-timber with special windows for soundproofing qualities.Combined Entry
The two buildings share an entrance point which also gives access to the rest of the school campus. The pair of buildings together form a ‘gatehouse’ to the school site; a boundary but not just a fence.Form
dRMM tested and modelled many options for curvature generated from straight elements, to establish the most beautiful box form to be made from flat-packed timber. The sculptural roof geometry, together with inventive cladding details creates simultaneously large and small internal/external scales.Material
The loadbearing, solid cross-laminated timber construction system offers structure and internal finish as one process, requiring only external woodfibre insulation and profiled weatherproof cladding – a construction demonstration for the future.
Photography © Alex de Rijke, Michael Mack, Sue Barr