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City of London Freemen’s School Swimming Pool

Swimming amongst the trees

A 25m, six lane competition pool, with state-of-the-art facilities, teaching and event spaces, for the school and the wider community to enjoy.

The building needed to be sensitively located and designed to minimise its impact on the school’s Grade II* listed landscape and to conceal it from the school’s Grade II* listed Main House.

We nestled the building into the landscape by partially submerging the lower ground floor. The dark copper colour standing seam cladding, articulated with vertical ribs, blends into the landscape, and responds to key features of the historic Main House.

The roof and walls of the pool space are constructed almost entirely from exposed, white stained timber, which is enhanced by complimentary colours and textures in the interiors.  Internal views from the reception and event space into the pool hall are framed by deep window seats and all three key spaces afford panoramic views towards the surrounding woodland.

The structure’s glulam portal frame, braced with CLT panels, was erected on site. Frame, walls, and roof took only three weeks to build which meant that the detailed design and construction could be completed in under a year.

The School is overwhelmed by the beauty and quality of the new swimming pool – it is a fantastic new asset for our School and local community.

Project details

Project name: City of London Freemen’s School Swimming Pool

Location: Ashtead, UK

Service: Sustainable design, Design for Manufacture & Assembly

Value: < £20M

Scope: Architecture

Clients: City of London Corporation

Status: Complete

Completion date: 2017

Structural engineer: Eckersley O’Callaghan

Services: Skelly and Couch

Landscape designer: BD Landscape

Transport engineer: Motion

Ecology advisor: Aspect

Arboriculturalist: Treeline

BREEAM assessor: SRL

Project management: Pick Everard

Contractor: Gilbert Ash

Planning consultants: Lichfields

Acoustic consultants: Max Fordham

Photography: Jack Hobhouse


RIBA South East Awards 2018
Client of the Year - Winner

RIBA Awards 2018
National Award - Winner

Structural Timber Awards 2018
Education Project of the Year - Winner

RIBA South East Awards 2018
Regional Award - Winner

RIBA South East Awards 2018
Sustainability - Winner

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