Canoe Lake Leisure Tennis Pavilion
“Create a Beacon for the Community” was our task at Canoe Lake: Create a place that local people can enjoy and use for a wide variety of physical and mental nourishment from Tennis to Yoga and for cultural enrichment from film screenings to life drawing classes. Create a place that people can meet, eat, drink and enjoy being a resident of Portsmouth and Southsea. Achieving the project brief proved no easy task; the site is situated within a Listed Park, is highly visible and as a result no public buildings had been erected in this part of Southsea for over 40 years. Extensive consultation with the community and the local authority helped to set the parameters, manage expectations and test design options.
- Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire
- Cost: £1.1m
- Designation: Listed Park
- Collaborators: RICE projects
- Image Credit: Nigel Rigden & Richard Chivers
2019 ArchDaily: Building of the Year Awards, Shortlisted
2019 Galvanizers Association: Galvanizing Awards, Shortlisted
2018 Civic Trust Awards, Regional Finalist
2018 AJ Architecture Awards, Finalist
2018 RIBA Regional Award, Winner
2018 RIBA Client of the Year, Winner
2018 The Portsmouth Society Design Awards: Best New Building, Winner
2018 World Architecture Festival, Finalist
Canoe Lake Leisure: canoelakeleisure.co.uk
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High airtightness means less air leaking in and out the building. An airtight building requires MVHR providing a controlled exchange of fresh air. Higher the rating the better the performance. We consider Passivhaus as a maximum, this is the equivalent of having a hole 50p size across the entire building.1 2
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A buildings journey has several phases, involves many decisions and often many challenges on the way to completion. Our extensive knowledge and combined experience allow us to foresee many of these challenges and assist us in navigating our clients through the process, sharing the load to keep the project on track and enjoyable for all.
Our desire to ensure that tennis was viewed as inclusive and accessible to all drove our design: Positioned immediately adjacent to a busy public footpath, the new pavilion acts as a large ‘shop window’ showcasing the activities happening within and framing views of the newly restored grass tennis courts behind the building. Spaces are layered offering a dynamic and overlapping views whilst at night, large areas of glazing ensure the activities take on a theatrical quality as they are performed on an illuminated stage. By putting the activities on view, an invitation to participate is extended. The success of this approach has been demonstrated by the take-up in annual membership which exceeded club targets by 400% in the first year. A nominal fee for social membership is charged to help manage the Pavilion’s use and upkeep, ensuring that this remains a building for the many.
The success of this approach has been demonstrated by the take-up in annual membership which exceeded club targets by 400% in the first year. A nominal fee for social membership is charged to help manage the Pavilion’s use and upkeep, ensuring that this remains a building for the many.
The heavy solidity of the masonry ground floor contrasts with a delicate glass upper level housing bar, café and viewing terrace. A large overhanging roof offers much needed protection from sun during the summer months, and in the winter provides a covered seating area with protection from the rain with fantastic views of Southsea and the tennis courts to both sides of the building.
‘... one of the best buildings to be built in Portsmouth for many years.’
. . . The Portsmouth Society . . .
The result is a building that has been widely recognised for its civic and architectural significance. Amongst several other accolades, the Pavilion won two RIBA awards, The Portsmouth Society ‘Best Building in Portsmouth’ award and has been commended as ‘one of the best buildings to be built in Portsmouth for many years.’ The Lawn Tennis Association have recognised the buildings importance within the professional tennis circuit, now hosting an annual ranked professional tennis tournament (The Aegon Southsea Trophy) at the venue for both men and women.
“The Aegon Southsea Trophy really is Portsmouth at its best. Local schools, local people and world class tennis players all coming together… The team at Canoe Lake have worked so hard on this facility, which benefits both the local community and athletes in preparation for Wimbledon.”
. . . Stephen Morgan, MP for Portsmouth and Southsea . . .