Crowned ‘Sports University of the Year 2020’ by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, the University of Stirling has cemented its status as Scotland’s top university for sporting excellence, by investing £20 million in a new state of the art sports centre.
Already home to The Lawn Tennis Association’s National Academy, the National Swimming Academy, SportScotland, Commonwealth Games Scotland, Scottish Swimming, Triathlon Scotland and the Scottish Football Association Central Area the facilities at the new sports centre will considerably enhance the world-class student experience.
An important consideration in the design was the location of 330-acre site on the edge of Stirling which is set within the stunning landscape around Airthrey Loch, with views to Stirling Castle, Airthrey Castle, the Ochil Hills, Ben Lomond and the Trossachs. A sympathetic approach was needed to minimise the impact on the environment, make the most of the stunning views and integrate the centre with the University’s existing world-class facilities.
For Faulkner Brown Architects, the answer was to construct the building over three levels to complement the existing landscape and integrate the centre with the University’s existing world-class facilities. In addition, an extensive glazing package from Senior Architectural Systems was used to give visitors to the sports centre plenty of opportunity to enjoy the panoramic views.
The result is an eye-catching exterior with Senior’s thermally enhanced SF52 curtain walling to three elevations together with SPW600 aluminium windows, plus a striking entrance with safe and secure access, provided by Senior’s robust SPW501 aluminium commercial doors.
The glazing provides tantalizing views of the Sport’s Centre’s focal point – a cylindrical drum housing the main fitness suite. Vertical timber frames are spaced around the cylinder to give the illusion of motion, animating the views from both inside and outside the gym.
Facilities include a 100+ station fitness suite, a strength and conditioning suite and a performance gym plus group exercise studios, a three-court sports hall, an indoor group cycle studio and three Outrace functional rigs.
Opened in November 2020, this world class sports centre is part of the university’s major enhancement programme which also includes the university’s landmark INTO building - a three-storey building again featuring Senior’s SF52 curtain walling, which provides dedicated teaching and learning space to support international students.
Faulkner Browns Architects
Photography credit Keith Hunter