The Splashpoint Leisure Centre in Worthing, by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, is a highly successful coastal regeneration project.
The project occupies a key site on Worthing beach front, and forms part of a larger masterplan for this portion of the seafront by Wilkinson Eyre. An earlier leisure centre building, adjacent to the new site, was vacated to make way for housing as part of the masterplan. Worthing Borough Council acted as both the client and the planning authority, and initally invited the South + East Panel to conduct a design review of the proposed leisure centre at pre-planning stage due to its key position in the town and sensitive location next to a Grade II listed manor house.
The Coastal West Sussex Panel – a branch of the South + East Panel – worked with the design team, identifying ways in which the scheme could be improved to do justice to the brief and the site. The design concept of a series of ‘fingers’ stretching across the site was simplified, resulting in a building that was cheaper to deliver while in no way compromising the architectural and spatial effect. The resulting scheme is more refined, and responds more closely to the surrounding urban context and the demands of the location.
As a result of this successful exercise, the South + East Panel is currently working with Worthing Borough Council and Roffey Homes to examine options for developing housing on the site of the previous leisure centre.