First impressions: £49m Sports and Wellness hub
Nick Mennell, Leisure Sector Manager at Wilmott Dixon, was one of the first to see our new Sports and Wellness Hub due to open next month. In this blog post, Nick shares his first impressions of the building, and why he thinks it’s one of the best in the World.
More than just a building
On my approach, what immediately hit me was the sheer size of the hub. What was even more impressive was the experience I felt as I stepped through the door.
The hub uses the best smart building technology. For example, coolant technology allows the right temperature for any given sport and the right lighting for certain rooms at certain times of the day, like wellness rooms for yoga. By creating this ambience, the user experience is fully maximised.
“I have travelled the world seeing and experiencing leisure facilities, from the UK to the USA, Europe to Africa - I can tell you, this facility is up there with the best.”
Attention to detail is impressive. Psychology played a major part in the design of the building to make people feel welcome. The user journey through the building flows perfectly, with easy access to all levels, rooms and activities. The minute I stepped inside, I saw ‘wow’ factor - the dramatic 15m-high climbing wall with its 144 climbing routes. Users will walk in and take in the breadth of the space, before coming across access barriers. This is a nice touch to make the, sometimes intimidated, user feel at ease.
A cutting-edge approach
Opportunities for sport are endless and to make the most of this, space has been really well thought out.
There is retractable bleacher seating for over 1000 people that enables a seamless operation between general use and elite use, as does the swimming pool which has flooring technology that allows part of the pool to be converted, at the touch of a button, from general use to competition setting. Not only that but the swimming pool floor can rise and fall to enable multiple uses or provide access to more spectator seating.
The sports hall is hugely multifunctional allowing a massive array of sports to be offered, both traditional and non-traditional. The high ceilings give the user a sense of breathable space whilst the clever use of digital technology in the rowing room gives the sense and experience of rowing outside.
The gym is the biggest in the higher education sector with hundreds of machines. All areas are fully accessible for those with disabilities and designed in an inclusive way and on top of all that the facility has natural ventilation, which means it uses less energy, and has stunning woodland views in all directions!
To the future
I’m constantly looking for leisure projects with the ‘wow’ factor and the Sports and Wellness Hub did not disappoint. This facility enables people to be active in a way that works for them and once open, local communities can come together and share these spaces, getting active side-by-side and providing immense inspiration to one another. I can’t wait to visit again once it’s open!
Opening 15 April 2019
See the Sports and Wellness Hub, a new world-class sports facility coming to Coventry.