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Everyone Active

Cambourne, UK

Completed October 2011

Everyone Active, CAMBOURNE

In December 2011, Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson completed work on a new sports centre in Cambourne, South Cambridgeshire. The building was a requirement of a planning obligation between South Cambridgeshire District Council and the housing developers Taylor Wimpey and Bovis Homes.

Cambourne is a new settlement built from scratch over the past 20 years on former agricultural land in the district of South Cambridgeshire. It comprises the three villages of Great Cambourne, Lower Cambourne and Upper Cambourne, and the final population is expected to be around 10,000 people.

HCD became involved with the project in early 2009 to help deliver a building that complied with the developer’s planning obligation whilst remaining within a tight budget.

In order to achieve this, it was crucial to maximise the useable area within the building by reducing the amount of circulation and wasted space. Through the design process, the layout of the building was refined until it provided the maximum level of efficiency for the required internal spaces.

When developing the building section, the principle aim was to minimise the amount of internal volume whilst providing a flexible space which could accommodate as many sports as possible. The building’s section allows the internal volume to be enclosed within a very efficient envelope, benefiting the end user as the building’s future maintenance and running costs will be significantly reduced.

The building was designed to capture views of its surroundings, but also to control how natural daylight is allowed to enter the building. Thin bands of glazing to the front elevation allow glimpses into the gym area giving passers by an insight into the activities taking place inside the building.

High quality elevation treatments, clean lines and a carefully selected material palette allow the building to fit in with the surrounding residential context and avoid the typical sports centre ‘shed’ aesthetic.