Willesden Sports Centre is the complete redevelopment of a leisure complex and the public parkland in which it is set. The project replaces two outmoded facilities with a single ‘one stop shop’, creating a fully integrated user experience. It acts as a new focus for the community and supports the local council’s strategy to deliver better public buildings and create linkages with schools. The building was designed in close consultation with residents, sports clubs and an adjacent city academy. Its low, sinuous form is bold and modern but respects the suburban context and responds sensitively to the parkland setting.
The client’s aim is to provide choice and boost participation in sport, so the project provides a huge range of indoor and outdoor facilities. These include a competition standard 25m swimming pool (with a flexibly designed changing village), multiple studios and fitness suites, a 4 court sports hall and a floodlit outdoor athletics track with grandstand. The project has a BREEAM rating of ‘very good’. Optimum security and visibility have been ‘designed in’ to improve accessibility and create a safe and lively public realm. This has reinvigorated the park, which now has more pitches and new pedestrian and cycle routes.