Ian Ritchie Architects

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British Academy of Sport

British Academy of Sport: Site perspectiveAs the national focus for sporting excellence, the British Academy of Sport will offer facilities, expertise and support to British sports women and men, nurturing raw talent and restoring sport to the heart of school and adult life. The Academy is the recognition of the importance of sport both in terms of the life skills it develops and the need for an environment that develops individuals for international sporting competition.

The Academy will be located in a New Royal Park in the East London corridor on the northern bank of the River Thames.  The site not only offers enormous scope for developing the Academy, but also fits within the regeneration objectives of the Thames Gateway region. The main focus of this concept is a unique all-season centre which will allow athletes to train throughout the year in a climate controlled, landscaped environment covering 6.5 hectares.  Called the ‘Climarena’, the centre will house a banked 200m athletic track, a 400m flat athletic track, two full size pitches, a 50m swimming and diving pool, a 1300m running circuit and large halls which can be used for a range of sports. The design of the facilities combines practical requirements with style, innovation and energy efficiency.

Outside the Climarena are a further six sports pitches within individual landscaped bowls providing wind protection.  A network of paths throughout the nearby Chase Forest allows training for long distance sports. An Olympic Standard Equestrian Centre will be provided within the New Royal Park.  This will enable London to meet the qualification criteria established by the Olympic Federation in respect of this activity should London seek the Olympic Games again.

British Academy of Sport

London, UK

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