Sherborne School Sports Centre

Sherborne Sports Centre Grows Up

Following our appointment to design new boarding accommodation, Sherborne commissioned us to refurbish and extend their sports centre. The centre has been a great asset to Sherborne and its local community for many years, and in 2012 was named as an official London 2012 Olympics pre-games training camp.

The current building features a swimming pool, sports hall and squash courts. We refined the design with Sherborne’s sports department and sports centre staff, who want to offer a wider range of sports and exercise classes, including basketball, volleyball, futsal, boxercise, yoga, spinning and judo. Our design is determined by the existing building, extending single-storey elements to create an upper level that provides:

a 5-court sports hall

two fitness studios

a gym

a climbing wall and a bouldering wall

The increased number of classes and activities will appeal to the students, local people and clubs, including addressing the popularity of classes aimed at the elderly community, such as 'Move to Improve' and 'Senior Active, making the Sports Centre an inclusive space where people of different ages can meet and motivate each other.

The locations of the new building extensions have been determined by the existing building and its areas to be retained - the swimming pool, sports hall and two squash courts - as well as the setting. The location is carefully positioned to respect adjacent buildings, with new planting softening the landscape.

The articulation of the three new extensions, conceived as timber boxes, uses one material to ensure the volumes feel cohesive and balanced against the existing brick volumes of the sports centre. The new volume over the main entrance is framed between the existing brick buildings - pool and squash courts - and projects forward providing cover to the main entrance. The visual impact of the projecting volume is softened by the timber cladding and the full height glazed elevation, facing east, with vertical timber fins in front. A glazed elevation to the ground floor main entrance creates visual transparency and connection to the main entrance and reception areas.

The new volume over the squash courts sits within the existing brick structure and is set back from the existing parapet. The setback retains the character of the existing while lessening the impact of the additional storey. Similar to the main entrance the volume is timber clad with a glazed east elevation and vertical timber fins. From this volume, views out into the canopy of the adjacent trees are prominent, visually connecting the users to the immediate natural surroundings.


ClientSherborne School

Cost ConsultantBurke Hunter Adams

Structure and Civil engineerFairhurst

Services engineerMax Fordham

LandscapeThe Landscape Practice

AcousticsMax Fordham

Principal DesignerRobinson Low Francis

Project managerGleeds

Planning consultantAdams Hendry Consulting

Building ControlMLM

Fire consultantMLM

Arboricultural consultantBosky trees

ContractorAmiri Construction