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FaulknerBrowns reveal design for waterpark with 'bold health and wellbeing focus'

By Kim Megson    12 May 2016
The lower levels of the building have been designed to relate to the site’s public realm, including the adjacent Christchurch Tower / FaulknerBrowns

FaulknerBrowns Architects partner Michael Hall has described how the studio’s planned indoor waterpark project in Coventry, UK, uses elegant and community-focused design to create a “high octane” and “holistic” type of health and fitness facility.

The practice has this week submitted its plans for the £36.7m (US$51.8m, €46.4m) Coventry Water Park – which will include a wave pool, six flume rides, a lazy river toddlers’ splash area, a 25m pool, a spa and a sauna – for planning permission.

The proposals place the facilities inside a 50m diameter drum, wrapped in the upper sections by a metal clad skin. The main feature pools sit around 11m above street level and are complemented by a glass opening in the cladding with views out towards the city.

Hall said the waterpark – designed in collaboration with Water Technology Inc (WTI) – will boast a diverse range of offerings to attract more residents to participate in health and fitness activities.

“This project comes at a time when the British government’s ‘Sporting Futures’ strategy is intended to drive a more holistic and incidental view of health and fitness, which incorporates a wider variety of activities to promote participation,” he said.

“Creating a more elegant leisure destination in the heart of the city centre which offers an action packed water experience, will help Coventry to meet these objectives and provide residents and visitors with a world class facility to enjoy for many years to come.”

The leisure water elements of Coventry Water Park have been designed to offer an “adrenaline packed” experience with a dwell time of around 2.5 hours, in contrast to similar facilities that look to provide a day experience.

The building will be located at the interface of the city’s historic quarter and ongoing regeneration projects – acting as a new hub for both the city and the wider region. The lower levels of the building have been designed to relate to the site’s public realm, including the adjacent Christchurch Tower – one of three historic spires bombed during the Coventry Blitz in 1941.

Hall said the central location and striking design have been chosen to persuade more local people to use the facilities and improve their health and wellbeing.

“As a building typology, there have been few good examples and little by way of innovation of the waterpark in the last twenty years,” he said. “This is particularly the case in the public sector, where these facilities seem to have been largely overlooked from a health and wellbeing perspective, with a stronger emphasis on lane swimming and therefore community pools.

“Those that have been built tend to be located on ‘edge of town’ retail parks with the emphasis on access by car as opposed to the public transport network. Their appearances are characterised by vast external tentacles of fibreglass to entice visitors.

"The decision by Coventry Council to procure a waterpark right in the heart of its city centre is a bold one and we are delighted to be able to support this forward thinking vision.”

Studio partner Michael Hall said the central location and striking design have been chosen to persuade more local people to use the facilities and improve their health and wellbeing / FaulknerBrowns
The facility will offer a diverse range of offerings to attract more residents to participate in health and fitness activities / FaulknerBrowns
FaulknerBrowns  Coventry Waterpark  health  architecture  design  Coventry  Michael Hall 
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