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University of Essex, The Sports Centre, Colchester

University of Essex

Kier Construction

Project details:
The University of Essex in Colchester runs a leading BSc Sports Performance and Coaching degree programme and has associations with a number of national sports governing bodies, including Volleyball England, Basketball England, Rugby Football Union and the Lawn Tennis Association. The new sports centre provides top class facilities for both high level performance athletes as well as recreational users from the university and surrounding local area. The building offers a range of new spaces including 12 badminton courts, 3 full size basketball courts, 3 netball courts and 5 volleyball courts.

Planting beds have been used around the entrance to the building to introduce attractive landscape planting that visually softens the façade of this large predominantly brick-built structure. Aggregate-filled gabion mesh baskets define the borders between the soft and hard landscape areas to protect the planting and to also provide informal seating walls. Gabions themselves can be uncomfortable to sit on, but with the addition of Furnitubes’ Lapa benches they provide an economic seating solution at the entrance to the sports centre. Lapa is available in two bench depths, with the option of add-on backrests, all of which can be retrospectively fitted to any suitable gabion. At the University of Essex, the minimal 2-slat deep bench versions were used to provide short term perch seating for people meeting before using the sports centre facilities, or a place to briefly rest afterwards.

Lapa Gabion Seating Platform


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Telephone: +44 (0)20 8378 3200

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