Splashpoint Leisure Centre

Worthing, UK

WilkinsonEyre was appointed to design this new swimming pool for Worthing Borough Council following an RIBA competition. The new complex includes a six-lane, 25-metre pool, a combined learner/diving pool, indoor leisure pools with rapids, flumes and outdoor waters, a health and fitness centre, café, crèche and flexible space for other activities.

The main pool hall acts as a viewfinder, connecting the street with the seafront, and the building terminates in a series of glazed façades directly overlooking the water. This device creates a striking internal space awash with natural daylight. The environment was challenging – the saline coastal context, coupled with the chlorine-rich pool area, made for a harsh context.

The copper and timber cladding was designed to provide a robust envelope to the building, and will gradually weather as the structure settles into its surroundings. Splashpoint was designed with the close involvement of a number of user groups and other community stakeholders. In fact, its name was selected after a local newspaper ran a competition for school children to come up with a title for the new complex. In its first month, May 2013, Splashpoint welcomed an unprecedented number of visitors, with more than 54,000 people coming through the doors.

The main pool hall acts as a viewfinder, connecting the street with the seafront, and the building terminates in a series of glazed façades directly overlooking the water.