Attracting new students is becoming increasingly important for universities to remain viable. In such a competitive environment, having stand out facilities can catapult a university into first choice position on the UCAS application.
Which is why, when Architecture PLB won the tender for the new sports complex at Solent University, their design featured a striking façade that would create a WOW factor for both visitors and students.
The main tower block is wrapped in perforated veil cladding which is punctuated by Senior’s thermally-enhanced SPW600 aluminium windows. In the daytime, the cladding conceals some of the windows, whilst others provide a glimpse of the activity taking place inside. At dusk, when the interior lights are switched on, the building is transformed as all the windows become visible.
On the smaller sports hall building, the dark brickwork façade design has been balanced by Senior’s Hybrid timber aluminium windows which help to flood the interior spaces with natural light.
Inside, the four-storey building is just as impressive, with a range of facilities for both students and the general public including teaching areas, gym facilities and fitness studios, alongside a separate sports hall block.
And because first impressions count, a welcoming and stylish entrance has been created using entrance Senior’s slim profile SF52 aluminium curtain walling and robust SPW501 commercial doors which provide safe and secure access to the new facilities. The attractive slim sightlines offered by Senior’s aluminium glazing systems allows the maximum amount of daylight to enter the building to create a light and airy feel.
Energy-efficiency and sustainable design were both key drivers in the design and development of the new sports complex and the completed scheme has been awarded an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating. Through early engagement with the client, architect and main contractor, Senior’s architectural advisory team were on hand to provide valuable technical assistance throughout the specification process in order to achieve the most efficient fenestration package possible. By sourcing all systems from the one supplier, potential risks and delays were also minimised and the new sports complex was successfully completed on time to open in May 2019.
The new £28 Million sports complex enables the university to provide excellence in the teaching of sport, an area where Solent already has a strong reputation. It is just part of the wider redevelopment of the East Park Terrace campus which has resulted in the university recently being named as the most improved university in the BUCS awards.
Morgan Sindall Construction