Background

The project comprises a new build 4,500m² leisure centre constructed over two storeys. The new facility will house a main and learner pool, changing areas, studio and gymnasium and spa.

The building is sensitive to the Historical Abbey site and the Abbey Green.  The site sits opposite the Abbey Green, an area of historical importance – housing the remains of the Barking Abbey and subsequent addition. The western façade faces the historical Abbey green and Grade I listed St Margarette’s Church. The original Barking Abbey once was a strict Benedictine nunnery, which was known as the greatest in the country, and was the only Saxon monastic foundation in Essex to survive until the Dissolution.

The active frontage created by a large expanse of glazing to the pools and first floor fitness suite area provides a beacon (visible from Abbey Road about 200m away), encouraging visitors from the Broadway and the St Pauls Road roundabout to the South. The building is a simple form; solid and glazed elements reflect the interior functions and create an uncomplicated and distinct composition.