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The Hurlingham Club Outdoor Pool

The Hurlingham Club Outdoor Pool

Arnold Laver Gold Award & Structural Winner 2012

Location: Hurlingham Park, Fulham, London
Building Owner/ Client: The Hurlingham Club
Architect: David Morley Architects
Structural Engineer: Scott White and Hookins
Structural Engineer (roof): Price & Myers
Main Contractor/ Builder: B&K Building Services Ltd
Specialist Fabricators: Commercial Systems Int Ltd.
Planning Consultant: Land Use Consultants
M&E Engineer: Hoare Lee
Wood Species & Products Used: OSB3, spruce ply, birch plywood, Siberian larch weatherboards.

The recently completed Hurlingham Club Outdoor Pool comprises a replacement 30m pool, children’s pool, beach area, changing room building and café, integrated into the picturesque Club grounds which abut the Hurlingham Park and River Thames. The original outdoor pool facilities were eighty years old and though much loved by the Members for their character and charm had reached the end of their serviceable design life.

The challenge was to retain the qualities, or charm, of the original traditional lido style buildings while providing high quality, modern, accessible changing facilities with an efficient layout, maximising natural day-lighting. The original buildings were single storey timber framed construction, clad in clap board timber painted in distinctive Hurlingham Blue and white which was complemented beautifully by reflections off the pool. They had pitched roofs, tiled in grey slate.

The materials, proportions, details and accessories from the original were incorporated into the new design: the rhythm of white cubicle doors against blue timber cladding; the long horizontal proportions; a horizontal band of blue cladding with a horizontal band of grey roof above; the use of accessories such as a clock, life-saving rings and palm trees in planters helps to animate the façade.

The existing changing pavilion was an awkwardly thin building. The new pavilion is on the same location, but pushes out to follow the curved alignment of the adjacent pathways integrating into the landscape. The curved plan extending to maximum limits allows space to flow around the building anchoring the curvilinear form of the lake and creating a prow which viewed across the water would appear on the scale of a gazebo in the landscape. The roof is lifted clear of the changing room façade allowing daylight to permeate the internal spaces, reducing artificial lighting needs, and giving views from within to the tree canopies and the grounds.

The key innovation within the project was the use of prefabricated timber cassettes to form the structure of the roof and giving the roof profile its distinctive shape. This involved development of a structural design by Scott White and Hookins, with Price and Myers Geometrics and fabricators Commercial Systems International, developing an approach that was established with David Morley Architects’ residential penthouses at Lister Mills. The development of an extremely detailed fully parametric 3D model enabled the complicated geometry of the roof to be plotted and understood. The 3D model was then used directly to cut the required shapes from ply and OSB for factory assembly, allowing tight control over the quality and minimising the installation time on site. The result is an extremely efficient integration of structure with roof form, an uncluttered soffit and an elegant realisation of the original vision.

Externally the roof is clad in zinc, a grey colour achieved with a traditional material, referencing the original slate. Internally the changing rooms are organised into modules of wet and dry spaces which respond to the undulations in the roof above and almost gives the sensation inside of sheltering under an upturned boat.