City of London Freemen’s School Swimming Pool

The swimming pool, along with changing rooms and a multipurpose teaching and events space, is one of many phases of a site-wide energy masterplan developed by Skelly & Couch for the school, which features a CHP district heating network, sustainable technologies and a focus on passive strategies.

Despite swimming pools being heavily serviced and environmentally controlled, the building design was developed to allow the pool hall to appear minimally serviced and clutter free. All environmental control systems and water treatment plants are located and distributed around the perimeter of a subterranean base, housing the pool itself in the centre. Air is introduced to the space via discrete slots in the floor beneath the glazing, reducing the risk of condensation and evaporative heat loss from the pool. The design achieves a BREEAM rating of Very Good and offsets 10% of its carbon using photovoltaics. Further carbon savings will be made during the team’s next phase of works on the Grade II*-listed Main House, which will include a CHP energy centre that will utilise the pool as a heat sink.

Surrounded by mature woodland, and partly submerged below ground, the building gives swimmers the sense of ‘swimming amongst the trees’. Winner of a 2018 RIBA South East Award and two other special prizes: the RIBA South East Sustainability Award and Client of the Year. RIBA judges said of the project: "Quality is high throughout, with the M&E virtually invisible within the main pool space, which is no mean feat."

* RIBA Awards 2018 - National Award - Winner
* Wood Awards 2018 - Highly Commended for Education & Public Sector and Structural prizes
* Structural Timber Awards 2018 - Education Project of the Year - Shortlisted
* Construction News Awards 2018 - Project of the Year (Under £15m) - Highly commended
* BD Architect of the Year Awards 2018 - Public Building Architect of the Year - Shortlisted