Alfriston School is a specialist sports college in Buckinghamshire. The design team was commissioned to replace an existing swimming pool with a new, up-to-date facility. The project developed to include a refurbished gymnasium, new, enlarged changing facilities, staff offices and a fitness suite. The new pool building is also open to the local community. The folded roof creates a dramatic internal landscape and also serves as an acoustic baffle, thus preventing a high reverberation of sound. A continuous glazing strip provides panoramic views, while the roof’s exposed timber elements create a visual counterpoint to the woodland nearby.
The judges were very impressed by this beautifully conceived and detailed swimming pool roof, made of triangular stressed skin panels spanning the 15 metre width of the building. The roof is supported one metre above the floor of the pool on small steel columns, allowing the swimmers to enjoy the views of the surrounding green space and playing fields. Internally the roof is self-finished, the panels and ribs diffusing the sounds of the swimmers in the pool.