An innovative, multi-use sports centre at Uppingham School for student and community use
As well as being renowned for music and the performing arts, Uppingham School has a strong sporting tradition – in line with its mission to provide an all-round education. Located in a small Rutland town, the school is a collection of historic buildings and quads, with many outlying departments and boarding houses. This collegiate environment makes for a lively spirit of learning, and the new sports centre extends this to the playing fields, providing an inspirational backdrop for sporting events and excellent facilities for participants, spectators and coaching staff.
Rather than providing traditional sealed ‘containers’ to accommodate the various sports, Orms’ concept draws from the rich traditions of Uppingham architecture, in which the buildings are seamlessly integrated with both townscape and surrounding natural landscape. The three programmatic functions of the building – pool and fitness centre, sports hall, gymnasium – are therefore articulated as distinct but connected volumes, flooded with daylight and with visual links to the playing fields outside. Around and between these, a series of routes link a variety of secondary spaces, grassy viewing areas and outdoor ‘rooms’, encouraging users from both school and community to linger and participate. A varied palette softens the scale and massing of the building.