The Hurlingham Club Racquet Centre
The Racquet Centre completes the third phase of a master plan to broaden the appeal of the Hurlingham Club’s sports and leisure facilities to a wider demographic.
The new building is in Metropolitan Open Land, a conservation area and within the curtilage of a listed building. It was developed in close collaboration with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham’s planning and conservation officers, and English Heritage.
The scheme comprises four indoor tennis courts, four squash courts and a flexible multi-use games area (MUGA) all located on the site of some existing covered tennis courts.
An insulated vaulted roof with a sedum grass finish was designed to visually merge with the park setting, articulated by strips of glazed roof lights between each court. In cross section the asymmetric tied-arch portal links the geometry of the main tennis hall to a two storey wing containing viewing galleries and secondary support spaces.
The end elevations of the tennis hall are shaded with mechanised louvres and the wing is clad with brickwork adopting a garden wall vernacular that takes inspiration from the many walled features found within the Club grounds. The brickwork incorporates recessed headers to generate patterning and to discretely incorporate ventilation louvres and windows to the changing rooms.
The structure includes five twinned tied-arched portal frames spanning 38 metres supporting timber stress-skin panels which provide an acoustically absorbent uncluttered soffit above each court. Off-site manufacture helped contain the overall programme to14 months.
The new Racquet Centre has resolved all of the issues of accessibility that existed with the previous covered courts to enhance the enjoyment of players and visitors. It has also increased the sense of openness in the club grounds and the adjacent Hurlingham Park.
The completed project has made the shortlist for the 49th Structural Steel Design Awards (SSDA) announced by the British Constructional Steelwork Association (BCSA) and Steel for Life. The winners will be announced at an evening reception in London in October.