Located at the City of London Freemen's School in Ashtead, the swimming pool building boasts an exposed timber frame that incorporates windows looking out onto the surrounding woodland.
Hawkins\Brown chose materials and construction methods to complement the building's natural setting. The primary structure is a portal frame constructed from glue-laminated timber – an engineered wood creating from glueing together several sheets of wood in parallel.
This is braced with cross-laminated timber panels – a similar but even stronger form of wood, made with layers positioned at right angles to one another.
“The deep columns of the all-timber construction and wrap-around glazing, which afford direct views from the water into the woodland, give the sense of swimming amongst the trees.”
Adam Cossey Partner, Hawkins\Brown
The 25-metre, six-lane competition pool is supplemented by changing rooms, and a multipurpose teaching and events space. To deliver this programme without causing too much disruption to the surrounding landscape, part of the building is submerged below ground.