The £12million redevelopment of the sportscotland Inverclyde National Sports Training Centre in Largs, Scotland is well underway to being completed for its public opening in April 2017.
The centre will be the UK’s first residential sports centre of its kind, designed for inclusivity. The sports centre will be open to high performance athletes, sports clubs, school and education groups, governing bodies of sport, and the local community. There is residential accommodation for up to 120 people based on 60 accessible twin rooms over six floors.
Main contractors Morrison Construction and Reiach and Hall Architects worked to create an innovative space that is accessible to all. Set over two floors with the residential block spread over six and sat to the North part of the building, the design of the sports space was to replicate the form of a gymnast’s ribbon rippling through the onsite trees.
“The sports centre is encased in a ribbon of glass and polycarbonate which responds to the landscaping of the site. This ribbon, which houses the new sports studios and gym space, takes advantage of the views into the landscape and over the golf course. These views are maximised from the bedrooms which have floor to ceiling glazed window panels. The views from the upper levels to the Isle of Cumbrae and Arran beyond are truly stunning,” commented Steven Anderson, Design and Delivery Lead on the project.
The indoor sports facilities include a fitness and physical preparation area with a cardiovascular fitness suite, high-end weights, three-lane 20m sprint track and a Rebound wall. There are also two studios, a medical room with physio table and first aid equipment for sports injury and rehab use as well as accessible lockers, changing rooms and toilets. The sports hall can accommodate a wide range of sports and the FIG-standard gymnastics training hall includes foam pits, apparatus equipment, a sunken trampoline and a sprung floor.
The outdoor facilities include five 11-a-side football or rugby grass pitches with changing rooms available, Water-based Edel Hockey Triple-T System synthetics pitch with 500 lux floodlighting, a 5-a-side synthetic pitch and a four-hole golf practice facility set to open in 2018. The centre also has a target range, tennis courts and numerous walking routes through the 86-acre grounds.
“The centre features 100% accessible bedrooms, which we believe is the first of its kind in the UK,” added Steven, “We worked with partners such as Scottish Disability Sport to address accessible needs and to create a centre for our para-athletes, which is particularly rewarding. They will have a continued role with advising on additional equipment, signage and ways to improve as the project develops.”
Other ways in which accessibility has been addressed is through more disabled parking spaces, bedrooms featuring visual fire alarms and vibrating pillows where required, and four fire evacuation lifts to the accommodation block.