Washington Leisure Centre

Putting leisure at the heart of the community

Built on the site of the existing leisure centre and with a more welcoming and friendly atmosphere, this exceptional new facility provides a modern and safe environment, designed to encourage participation in a wide variety of indoor and outdoor sports and leisure activities.

The new building includes a six-lane, 25 m main pool; a learner pool with a water feature and two water slides; a four-court sports hall; a health suite with a sauna and steam rooms; a spinning room; a 100-station wellness centre and ancillary accommodation. The scheme also includes floodlit five-a-side synthetic football pitches and a car park.

Both the design and position of the Centre prioritises user access and improves safety by separating pedestrian and vehicular movement. Visitors on foot, approaching from the town centre, Princess Anne Park or the surrounding housing estates, will enter a central hub via a tree lined avenue. This visually attractive avenue built for pedestrians provides a friendly walk up to the Centre and doubles as a meet and greet area.

Any building should flatter its environment and this leisure centre uses the bright-green fields and trees of Princess Anne Park to great effect, with sedum roofing helping knit the building into the green surroundings. The elevation treatment is simple but effective. We opted for a ‘soft’ approach, utilising a mix of timber and insulated composite cladding panels. The fun shape of the timber cladding on the front pays heed to the trees of the area, but it also gives the center a sense of privacy.

The glazed area is thoughtfully positioned to enhance connectivity between the internal and external spaces while maintaining privacy for users of the pool hall.

Client:Sunderland City Council
Contractor:Pellikaan Construction
Value:£11m
Service: Architecture
Sector: Sport and Leisure
The design and position of the Centre prioritises user access and improves safety.