Ransomes Sports Pavilion

Ipswich, Suffolk

Ipswich Borough Council would like to create a new sports pavilion of some note, which engages with the Community and provides access to a number of sports, whilst being sustainable, efficient and low in maintenance costs.

The sports pavilion will provide changing for football, cricket and lawn bowls.

The Council requires a simple contemporary pavilion which satisfies the planning and technical guidelines set out by the Football Foundation and Sports Council.

The pavilion should be capable of adapting to the demands of the Council for the grounds including providing a considerable degree of flexibility permitting the future addition of changing rooms to accommodate the needs of the sports clubs. The pavilion plan must divide public/spectator spaces and the changing facilities with a players’ security lobby which has been demanded by both the Football Association and Foundation.

A new car park must be provided to enable easy access to the pavilion. The playing field must be reinstated and landscaping undertaken where necessary after the construction works.

Client requirements

The new pavilion building must:

  • allow for approx. 360 to 400m2 GIFA and be of single storey construction
  • adopt a sustainable heating strategy and have low running costs
  • be capable of rainwater harvesting
  • have CCTV security and alarms throughout
  • prevent vandalism, in particular there should be no rainwater downpipes
  • prevent public access to climbing up onto the roof
  • provide an external viewing space with protection from rain or sun depending on the season
  • changing spaces must be well ventilated
  • allow spectators to view matches from the community space
  • be sympathetic to its setting and address the sporting activities either side of the site, whilst providing a focal point for sport in the community

The Client brief demands: “a significant, sustainable building” that will sit well on this open site hidden behind a ring of mid-twentieth century residential properties and gardens.

To this end Samskara have created a sports pavilion design that will, be sympathetic to its urban setting, address the sporting activities either side of the building to the North and South and provide a focal point for sport and social activities within the community.

The built form illustrates its sustainable credentials throughout, through the sympathetic use of materials. Timber columns supporting the timber roof structure, plywood sheathing is used throughout to provide cladding to the walls, soffits & internal ceilings. Approximately 50% of the building fabric will be timber locking up a significant quantity of CO2.

The technical aspect of the plan form has been determined with reference the England and Wales Cricket Board, Football Foundation and Sports Council recommended planning guidelines and the desire to accommodate the future addition of changing rooms to the building, evident in the linear format and repeated transverse structure.

Input from the FA and the ECB, coupled with a desire to link the associated sporting activities and the pavilion through visual continuity and symbolism have determined aspect, the built form and the relationship of the internal spaces to the pitches.

Subtle reference to the sports associated with the pavilion can be found throughout the building and the language of its facades. The proposed built form is designed to subtly represent the sporting activities that it serves. A hand-shake above the entrance, the sight-screens of the facades, the stumps and bales of the main façade…

The plan form effectively divides public/spectator spaces and the changing facilities. Disabled access throughout the building has been catered for with ramped access.

We hope this elegant form will provide not only a hub for sport in the community but also a catalyst for other activities as it is used more and more by the Community.