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Karen Harbinson, who oversaw the project for the University, accepts the design award from Roger Bayliss, Construction Director for BAA
Karen Harbinson, who oversaw the project for the University, accepts the design award from Roger Bayliss, Construction Director for BAA

Press Release - 29 June 2006

University sports facilities win national design award

The Sports Training Village at the University of Bath has been awarded a commendation at this year's national Structural Steel Design Awards. The awards commemorate innovative and effective design using steel.

Completed in 2004, The Sports Training Village, which cost £23 million to build, provides facilities for world-class athletes. It contains a multi-purpose sports hall, an eight-court tennis hall, a 140m sprint track, a dojo for judo, shooting and fencing facilities and a 50m pool alongside a sports science centre, fitness centre and a restaurant.

Karen Harbinson, who oversaw the project for the University, said: “The Sports Training Village was a very challenging project. The design needed to take into account that each sports activity has a precisely defined space requirement, incorporate the existing facilities, and create a cost-effective and aesthetically appealing environment for both visitors and users.”

“The award recognises our success in achieving our key design aims. The Sports Training Village is not only recognised as a world-class training environment but is an attractive gateway to the campus.”

The structural engineer on the project was local firm, Buro Happold. Its task was to design two new buildings either side of the existing sports facilities in order to create one, coherent complex enclosing them all.

Among the challenges the engineering team had to overcome was enclosing the two main halls while ensuring each had sufficient height for their intended sports. For the tennis hall this resulted in a 65m wide by 75m-long space, unobstructed at ground level but divided into two by a viewing gallery at ceiling height. The gallery bisects the hall and gives clear views of all eight courts.

Another key component of the project was the 140m-long indoor sprint track which, as it stands alongside the university's athletic track, has been designed with a terrace for spectators on the roof. In order to meet all these challenges, and in particular the 75m-long span structures in the roof of the halls, steel was used throughout the complex.

The architect on the project was David Morley Architects, the Steelwork Contractor was Midland Steel Structures Ltd and the main contractor was Bovis Lend Lease.


The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/

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