London based practice Wilkinson Eyre Architects has won the competition to design a new swimming pool for Worthing Borough Council. Wilkinson Eyre were selected in preference to Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, also based in London. Both teams had been identified as preferred teams at the end of the first stage of the competition and were invited to a follow-up interview with the client.
109 expressions of interest were initially submitted for the competition and six teams shortlisted to prepare design work. The four other teams competing for this commission were: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, London; Thomas Heatherwick, London with Saville Jones, Worthing; Pringle Richards Sharratt, London; and Ian Simpson Architects, London.
It is anticipated that the new pool complex will include an 8 lane 25 metre pool, a combined learner/diving pool, indoor leisure pools, with rapids and flumes, and outdoor waters, a health and fitness centre, cafe, crèche and flexible space for other activities although the precise details of the final specification will be developed as part of the design and costing process.
The site, located adjacent to the existing swimming pool on the seafront and close to the town centre is a wonderful development opportunity and the Council is keen to ensure that a first class leisure facility can be provided together with the subsequent mixed use development of the site vacated by the existing swimming pool following completion of the new facility. It is hoped that the development will maximise the potential of the site and positively enhance this prominent seafront location in line with the Council's aspirations for an Active Beach Zone in accordance with the town's Masterplan.
"Worthing is a beautiful English seaside town with a spectacular waterfront and I am delighted to have the opportunity of designing a building on such an important site," said Chris Wilkinson, Director and Founder of Wilkinson Eyre architects. "It is a great opportunity to continue the tradition of British contemporary seaside architecture."
Councillor Paul Yallop, Leader of the Council, and member of the Assessment Panel, commented "The standard of entries to this competition was very high which made the judging a tough task. On behalf of the residents of Worthing I should like to thank all of the entrants for their hard work and creative concepts. After much deliberation the panel was unanimous in selecting the winners whose team displayed great passion for this important building. They also presented a wonderful design concept for our new pool complex. We look forward to working closely with them in the coming months.
Our thanks also go to the RIBA Competitions Office whose service I can thoroughly recommend to others planning projects such as this."