Derby Arena is located on Derby’s Pride Park next to the iPro Stadium. Development of the £27.5 million arena heralds the most exciting and important changes to leisure facilities in Derby in the last 40 years, as part of Derby City Council’s Leisure Strategy.
The new Arena is primarily a space for sports and physical activity; however it also serves as a venue to host cultural events, exhibitions, product launches and conferences and as such, is able to hold up to 5,000 people.
The main contractors on the project were Bowmer & Kirkland and the building was designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects.
Speaking to Premier Construction magazine, Michael Hall, a Partner at FaulkerBrowns said: “We got involved at the early stages of the project when there was a leisure strategy being undertaken on behalf of the city and we were brought in by a leisure consultant to initially advise on the technical aspects around the strategy.”
The Arena boasts an exciting range of facilities including:
- 250m indoor cycle track suitable for individual, club, school, group and business track sessions, track leagues and local, regional, national and international track events.
- Sports infield which is the size of 13 badminton courts, suitable for activities such as badminton, netball, football and volleyball.
- Cycle Hub with hire, repair and storage.
- State-of-the-art 140 station gym.
- Wattbike and exercise studios.
- Events and conferencing facilities.
- Meeting and hospitality rooms.
- Café and bar.
- Fixed spectator seating.
- Fully accessible changing rooms.
Michael added: “In travelling around the world and visiting velodromes, the key thing we saw was that they are great buildings but the sheer geometry of the banked timber track deems that in a typical building, the central space is locked in very easily. The clever thing that we did was take the wonderful form of the track and lift it up a level so you get all of these connections underneath the track into the central infield. Suddenly the infield becomes a live, vibrant, accessible space for the public and community and that is the major thing that has made this building come alive with accessibility, connectivity and has got so many people excited.”
The outside of the building also plays host to outstanding design features with FaulkerBrowns using a gold, silver and bronze theme.
“We were keen that somehow the dynamic of the track was expressed on the side of the building,” said Michael. “The idea that the linear shingles and layering of them gives a clue to the timber track almost feels like a metaphor for the track on the outside. We also metaphorically lifted the ends of the building up. We lifted up the cladding at the front of the building so people could get a direct line of site to the infield. At the back, we have got vehicles and servicing that can get access to the infield, so the front and back were lifted up to give us the second component of the dynamic. The third aspect is that we liked the idea of using gold, silver and bronze in the colours and textures as a metaphor for success, winning and inspiration.”
Since completion of the project, Derby Arena has gone on to win the Project of the Year award at the 2016 East Midlands RICS Awards.
Commenting on the project’s success, Michael said: “I think the project has been a massive success. The client is delighted with the project and the operator on behalf of the council are using the building and working it hard and well. The thing we find interesting with the RICS Awards is that they take a slightly wider perspective on both project teams and particularly the wider community regenerative benefits of well conceived buildings and briefs with good delivery. They take that wider holistic view of what the building process is about, so I think that is why it is particularly pleasing to be involved and to win project of the year, because of the values that surround that.”
Ferco Seating Systems Ltd
Established in 1983, Ferco Seating specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of fixed seating for sporting stadia, cinemas, auditoriums and the education sector. Over the past 33 years, the company has worked on a range of prestigious projects, from Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and the Zaha Hadid-designed Aquatic Centre for the London 2012 Olympic Games, to Windsor Park, the Twickenham Stadium Royal Box and Saracens RFC.
Ferco Seating has recently provided corporate seats for Leicester City, Chelsea and Manchester United and installed 1,500 FCB-M seats at Derby Arena.
Michael Burnett, MD of Ferco Seating Systems, said:
“We were delighted to be associated with Derby Arena – a venue which demonstrates an innovative and flexible design by architects Faulkner Browns and deservedly won the RICS Project of the Year award. The FCB-M seating chosen for this landmark project was designed with aesthetics and functionality in mind; resulting in a beautiful seat that delivers flexibility, comfort and durability.”
“Our company vision is ‘seating made better’ and we aim to demonstrate outstanding best practice, while setting standards in spectator seating, in both the design and quality of our seating and also throughout our business. We are environmentally aware, customer focussed and we value our people.
“This project exemplifies a visionary design by Faulkner Browns and provides an impressive community resource that is both relevant today and future-proofed for success.”