Aberdeen Aquatic Centre
The brief for the new £22m Aquatics Centre in Aberdeen, Scotland – a joint venture between the University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen City Council and sportscotland – was extremely demanding. Sustainability was put at the forefront of the design, requiring soft strip demolition on-site; allowing up to 80 per cent of materials to be recycled; incorporating a sedum roof with 13 different species and rainwater harvesting; and using a bio fuel boiler for underfloor heating and an extensive BMS natural ventilation system.
Architects FaulknerBrowns were appointed to design this facility, which forms the cornerstone for swimming in the north-east of Scotland and completes a major wet/dry facility for the Aberdeen Sports Village. It offers a 50-metre, 10-lane Olympic standard pool with 3-metre, 5-metre, 7.5-metre and 10-metre diving platform, allowing for complete flexibility for events, training and community usage. The facility – one of only 10 in the UK with full diving facilities and platforms up to 10 metres – was built by John Graham Construction, a firm that achieved a high 36 out of 40 on the Considerate Constructors Scheme.
FaulknerBrowns have a long-standing working relationship with changing room locker and cubicle provider Prospec, and Prospec was therefore involved from the very early concept stages to work closely with FaulknerBrowns on the design of the facilities.
The specification included the award winning Cabrillant shower cubicles, plus the versatile, durable Marathon range of cubicles and lockers. The locker doors are manufactured from toughened and laminated glass, which allowed the architect to incorporate quality normally associated with high-end health clubs without compromising safety of use within this heavy traffic public facility.
The colour scheme is striking and modern thanks to the use of vibrant green and graphite grey laminates and glass. Quartz black Corian solid surfacing, for the vanity and grooming shelves, provides the finishing touch.
Jean Paul Colback, technical manager for FaulknerBrowns, comments: "To some, a locker is a locker and a cubicle is a cubicle. But even products that appear very similar can be constructed with components that will not meet robustness and security requirements over time. FaulknerBrowns have had a long working relationship with Prospec, and at times have assisted Prospec with the development of its products to meet the ever-changing demands of the sector. Collaborating with manufacturers is very important to us as designers."