AVENUE TENNIS CLUB
|Client:||Avenue Tennis Club|
|Contractor:||WW Martin Ltd|
|Construction:||Steel Frame & Masonry|
|Team||Jason Chandler, James Henstridge|
In building terms, this project is essentially an extension to an existing sports hall. However, the new tennis hall is far larger than the existing sports hall, around three times the size, and its dimensions had to meet the requirements for the tennis courts inside, stipulated by the Lawn Tennis Association. We also had to ensure that sensible access, fire appliance and maintenance routes were provided.
Our design met the brief in terms of both footprint and height, and the curved design of the roof and the positioning levels of the site enable the building to remain relatively unobtrusive when viewed from the A2 London Road. The dimensions are far more apparent from within the site itself, and here the building acts as a buffer between the outside courts and the London Road. The two-storey link has been designed with curtain walling, allowing visual links between the gymnasium and circulation spaces within the building, and the tennis courts to the north. The existing hall and changing room areas have been cleverly adapted by the client to provide a spa that blends seamlessly with the new build facilities.
This project was problematic in some respects due to the awkward design and unsightly appearance of the existing buildings and the limitations of the site; however, the existing building has now been transformed internally and masked externally.
The scheme makes use of every last bit of the area allowed in order to provide a highly efficient and intense development. The site was previously a football field, often empty for large periods; the thirteen tennis courts that replace it, and the badminton hall, will ensure that the site is fully utilised.
The new building is situated so that it wraps around the southern edges of the site, protecting the spaces outside from the noise of the busy A2 road. The building nestles next to the bank along this boundary, which reduces the apparent mass of the building when viewed from outside the site. The changes in level across the site have also been carefully dealt with, raising the new tennis hall by half a storey and providing a central retaining wall that separates the car parking area from the playing areas.
The lighting system is cutting-edge: low energy LED lighting is installed throughout (including the floodlights) and each fitting can be individually programmed and controlled. The high specification of the modern synthetic court surfaces allows year-round play throughout nearly all the facility.
The main aim of this project has been to provide a well-designed tennis facility that will become a centre of excellence for the sport in the heart of Medway. We feel that this has been accomplished very successfully.The site is now owned by members of the local community: they have reported a significant increase in membership, implying that the new centre has been well received.