Chelmsford Leisure Centre

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  • £40 million Leisure Centre rebuild and expansion project
  • Considerable levels challenges
  • Complements the Local Flood Defence Strategy

Wynne-Williams Associates were appointed by Chelmsford City Council, working alongside contractors Kier and architects Pick Everard, on this £40million project to replace the previous leisure facilities, including a new swimming pool and leisure centre.

The new facilities have been constructed on the car park of the original centre overlooking the River Chelmer, with the ice rink being retained and refurbished.

The location of the new centre takes advantage of the pedestrian / cycleway route that leads from Victoria Road towards the new Bond Street development and is one of the main routes into the city centre.

The building is raised above the pathway so that it sits above the flood plain thereby providing a paved terrace along the southern side of the building. The terrace has outdoor dining overlooking the pathway and river, and also views into the swimming pool.  Large steps on each side of the main access steps provide an informal meeting and sitting space next to the entrance. An accessible path also leads up to the entrance and to covered cycle parking.

The cycleway/footpath has been realigned and resurfaced in coloured asphalt to complement the colours of the building, whilst soft landscaping on the river-side of the development retains the open feel of the riverbank with mown verges against the path, retained riparian planting on the water’s edge, and flowing drifts of ornamental grasses and shrubs along the building edge.

The main visitor entrance is positioned near the car park. This configuration provides drop off areas for visitors arriving by coach and accessible spaces close to the building.

The space between the car park and Victoria Road has been enhanced by replanting with drifts of ornamental trees and shrubs in a layout which reflects the design of the planting along the cycleway / footpath and integrates the development into the landscape setting.

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