As conservation group Twentieth Century Society launches a marketing campaign to save lots of Britain’s leisure facilities in danger, we take a look at 10 of the nation’s most essential architectural landmarks.
The Twentieth Century Society has launched a marketing campaign to record 10 UK leisure facilities because the amenities, lots of which had been constructed within the 1970s and 80s, are more and more underneath risk of closure and demolition.
“The increase period for leisure facilities was actually within the 1970s when publicly funded amenities had been plentiful,” defined Twentieth Century Society campaigns supervisor Oli Marshall.
“The decimation of native authority budgets lately has already compelled many into closure, the challenges of latest years solely heighten the risk they now face.”
“The Covid pandemic, the worldwide chlorine scarcity and the vitality value disaster have meant that each swimming pool is now in danger,” he instructed Dezeen. “If we do not transfer to guard probably the most traditionally essential examples now, they may quickly disappear altogether.”
“A few of the most progressive architectural buildings of the late 20th century”
In accordance with Marshall, UK leisure facilities characterize among the most various and progressive structure constructed within the 1970s and 80s.
“Area-age geodesic domes, glazed pyramids, crenellated forts, brutalist elephants, postmodern Moorish palaces – is there another kind of constructing that is as various and downright eccentric?” he stated.
“They’re additionally among the most progressive architectural buildings of the late 20th century; combining environmentally managed environments with hovering engineering and playful pop imagery.”
Launched right this moment, 30 years after the society started a marketing campaign to save lots of Britain’s lidos, the Twentieth Century Society’s marketing campaign goals to guard the best examples of the typology earlier than they’re misplaced.
“Leisure facilities are a kind of constructing that we have most likely taken without any consideration and positively one which hasn’t been totally explored or appreciated but,” defined Marshall.
“Only a few years in the past, artwork deco Lidos had been being misplaced at an unimaginable price. Nevertheless, the nation has fallen again in love with outside swimming and most of the finest examples are actually listed. In Britain’s chilly local weather, the subtropical escape of Leisure Facilities is one other distinctive a part of our bathing tradition that we must always cherish.”
To coincide with the marketing campaign, we have rounded up 10 of the UK’s most essential leisure facilities – three which have already been listed, 5 which the Twentieth Century Society is proposing to record and two which have already been misplaced:
Wrexham Waterworld, by Williamson Partnership, Wrexham, 1967
Believed to be the one constructing with a hyperbolic paraboloid roof in Wales, the 1960s Wrexham Waterworld leisure middle now operates because the Waterworld Leisure and Exercise Centre.
Regardless of a failed itemizing bid in 2014 on account of closely altered interiors, the group believes the constructing’s distinctive roof warrants it being listed.
Bletchley Leisure Centre, by Faulkner Brown, Bletchley, 1974
Designed by British studio Faulkner Brown in 1974, Bletchley Leisure Heart (pictured high and high) had the swimming pool contained inside an area pyramid of galvanized metal.
Regardless of its extremely recognizable type, the constructing was demolished in 2010.
Swindon Oasis, by Gillinson Barnett and Companions, Swindon, 1976
One of the crucial recognizable leisure facilities within the nation due to its massive perspex glass roof dome, the pool closed in 2020 and was positioned on the 20th Century Society’s record of most buildings in danger. Nevertheless, following a marketing campaign, it was listed Grade II in 2021.
Designed by Gillinson Barnett and Companions within the mid-1970s, the pool is maybe finest recognized for having knowledgeable the title of the band Oasis.
Coventry Sports activities Centre, by Coventry Metropolis Architect’s Division, Coventry, 1976
One in every of Coventry’s most recognizable buildings, the Coventry Sports activities Heart is called the Elephant on account of its zinc-grey zinc cladding and facade resembling the animal. A glazed ‘portbag’ hyperlinks the gymnasium constructing with the 1960s Coventry Central Baths block.
The constructing is at the moment underneath risk after its closure in 2020.
Mildenhall Dome, by Simon Conolly, Mildenhall, 1977
One in every of solely three buildings within the UK constructed utilizing the progressive Parashell system, Mildenhall Dome was threatened with demolition after it closed in 2021, earlier than being Grade II listed.
The construction was inbuilt a single day utilizing a system developed by Italian architect Dante Bini, the place a balloon was inflated and lined with concrete to create the domed construction.
Richard Dunn Sports activities Centre, by Trevor Skempton, Bradford, 1978
Named after a neighborhood boxer who fought Muhammad Ali, the concrete Richard Dunn Sports activities Heart in Bradford was one of many first buildings in Britain to be designed utilizing computer systems.
It was just lately saved from demolition when it was listed earlier this 12 months. Within the itemizing quotation, Historic England stated the constructing was “a daring and achieved design for a neighborhood leisure middle within the 1970s” and that its “beautiful latticed roof is noteworthy”.
Crowtree Leisure Centre, by Gillinson Barnett and Companions, Sunderland, 1977
One of the crucial bold leisure facilities constructed within the 1970s, Crowtree Leisure Heart in central Sunderland was lined by an enormous space-frame roof supported on sq. concrete columns.
The constructing was demolished in 2013. “Sadly, with this one, we had been late,” stated the Twentieth Century Society. “If it was nonetheless standing, it could undoubtedly be on the record for itemizing.”
Heart Parcs Dome, Heart Parcs Architects, Sherwood, 1987
Constructed as the guts of vacation firm Heart Parcs’ first UK location, the Subtropical Swimming Paradise constructing is enclosed by a geodesic dome with a 70m opening.
The massive dome was constructed of glued laminated timber (glulam) supporting translucent ETFE panels.
The Dome, by Faulkner-Brown, Doncaster, 1989
Dubbed the ‘mock pantheon devoted to the gods of leisure’, Doncaster Dome options post-modern domes, pastel banded stone and ornamental metal.
The constructing is one among 5 leisure facilities designed by Faulkner Brown that the Twentieth Century Society has proposed for itemizing.
Ships and Castles Leisure Centre, by Andrew Robertson, Falmouth, 1993
Perched above Falmouth Harbour, the Ships and Castles Leisure Heart has two distinctive facades primarily based on its distinctive location.
Overlooking the automotive park, the constructing is made from crenellated brick with six crenellated turrets referencing the close by 16th century Pendennis Citadel, whereas the ocean entrance has been designed to be a ‘glass sail’, offering harbor views.