Hounslow Leisure Centres - Isleworth Recreation Centre & Library
Pringle Richards Sharratt were appointed as architects by The London Borough of Hounslow through The Clarkson Alliance as Project Managers to investigate ways of rejuvenating this 1930’s iconic civic ensemble of buildings in Isleworth. The group included an existing swimming pool and library, all originally planned and set out around a wonderful public park and completed in 1936. Following various feasibility studies worked up with LB Hounslow, in collaboration with their leisure operator Fusion Lifestyle, the project established various ways of creating a state-of-the-art leisure hub that linked the existing leisure centre to the neighbouring library, as well as re-establishing its linkages with the wonderful adjacent park. Following various interventions in the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s, many of these linkages had been lost, especially after a corrugated metal box had been thrown over the whole swimming baths to stop leaking roofs; that had eradicated the relationship between baths, library and park.
Within a very limited budget, this project was able to peel back the past and found new ways of reconnecting the disparate parts, re-establish a new legible civic hub whilst improving access and views into the wonderful public park beyond. Other elements of the brief included the comprehensive refurbishment of pool halls, new changing village, new dry changing facilities, new 80 station gym, two new exercise studios, crèche and café. The full refurbishment of the existing Isleworth Library was then carried out following completion of the Leisure Centre. The joining of these two functions with a carefully crafted Cross Laminated Timber CLT element created a new dynamic café and reception area into which the library spills out into blurring the division between the two functions successfully aligning with LB Hounslow’s vision for encouraging ‘healthy living’ within the Borough as a whole.
This extremely complex project was executed in phases, with the building kept operational throughout the comprehensive refurbishment and upgrades, to align with current Sport England guidance. Working within the tight budget parameters and time constraints mentioned above the project represents exceptional value, delivering a high-quality building.
Following its completion, LB Hounslow councillor Ed Mayne, portfolio holder for Public Health and Leisure says: “Our leisure services and facilities provide an important contribution to making Hounslow a great place to live, work and visit”