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Haven Point Leisure Centre, South Shields

Achieving high design standards as intended

Credit: Fotohaus

LA Architects for South Tyneside Council

Contract value: £16.9 million

GIA: 6900m2

With a prominent location, Haven Point forms part of the wider regeneration of the South Shields seafront, and was intended to achieve high design standards – a requirement the judges felt was met. Design quality is consistent, from the challenging external environment to the visibly inventive interior and the visual inter-relationship of the two.

In orientation the building relates more to the adjacent park and main street than, it seems, the seafront, but its successful connection with them was felt to be a positive design move. Given the building’s programme, it could not do both, and the more sheltered landward side spares the public the worst gusts of north wind.

  • Credit: Craig Auckland
  • Credit: Fotohaus
  • Credit: Fotohaus
  • Credit: Fotohaus

The scheme is well planned, with the building’s entrance and circulation areas feeling light and generous. It is enhanced by the inclusion of a tourist information centre, external performance space, public art, meeting and conference spaces, and a central café bringing it all together.

Detailing was simple and well-executed, with the external ceramic tile cladding bouncing light in a satisfying way, bringing a unique quality to the building and reinforcing its contribution to a much-enhanced civic realm.

See other winners in the RIBA Regional Awards 2015 – North East

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