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Little Venice Sports Centre, London, United Kingdom

Friday 16 Oct 2009
 

Making a Little difference

 
Duncan McNeil 
 
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Little Venice Sports Centre proves it's a good sport when it comes to the environment 

LCE Architects won a bid to design a new children’s sports facility. The new four-court sports hall, with supporting facilities replaces the existing Centre. The building appears to grow out of the park, using the levels to partly sink the building into the ground and to ‘merge’ the green roof with the surrounding ground. The building responds well to the sustainability agenda. Most notably through bio-diversity and energy efficiency assisted by the green roof and the earth sheltering.

Planning approval for the scheme, which occupies a 2,720 sq m site on Crompton Road, just off the northern end of Edgware Road, London was granted in 2007 following positive feedback from the local community during the consultation stage, with work beginning in mid-2008.

The centre, which officially opened in August 2009, will primarily service local schools, providing a much-needed and modern amenity in the local area. The sports centre will also offer flexible activity spaces and a dedicated adult learning hub which can be hired by local amenity groups for sports and social activities during the evenings and weekends. Because of this, flexibility in design was key.

The work has also included new landscaping and boundary fencing, with the entire project incorporating a range of sustainable features such as a sedum roof, which creates a bio-diverse environment, improves thermal performance and retains rain to drastically reduce site water run-off.

Where possible, the original contours of the site have been adopted and enhanced, allowing LCE to partially sink the building and create a grass-covered berm around the main sports hall, reducing the visual impact of the facility’s largest element. This also helps to insulate the centre’s large surface areas and, together with sun pipes, roof-mounted wind-catchers – providing natural ventilation and cooling – and the sedum roof, contributes towards achieving a very low energy building.

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