Haileybury School Pool

Studio E Architects, Hertford, 1996


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The curved roof profile and the glazed wall give the building a dramatic look at night 

Peter Cook/View (website)     Download Original

  • The curved roof profile and the glazed wall give the building a dramatic look at night    
  • The entrance to the swimming pool building    
  • The new swimming pool building sits alongside more historic school architecture    
  • The curved roof profile    
  • Interior view of the swimming pool building    
  • The pool is to be used by the school and also member of the public    
  • The supporting steel frames hold the curved timber roof structure    
  • The same structural motifs exists on the exterior as the interior    
  • Site plan    
  • Section looking north    
  • Section looking west    
  • Section looking east    
  • Section looking south    
  • Concept sketch    
  • Key cross-section and detail section through wall and structure of pool    
  • Cut-away isometric of pool and detail at column head    

A new sports facility for Haileybury School, housing a swimming pool, and providing a link to existing facilities

The brief was for a 25m, six-lane pool of competition standard which could also be used for water polo, aqua sports and canoe training, and by inexperienced swimmers and learners. The design exploits the contours of the site. The water level in the pool is on a plane with the external forecourt.

Spectator galleries are set 1.4m above the water, on the same level as a new terrace along the edge of the woodland.

Key elements in Studio E’s design are the highly sculptural ‘floating’ roof, supported by structural ‘trees’, and the use of glazing to permit views right through the interior.

The building is naturally lit, rarely needing artificial light during the day. The structure is exposed with steel 'tree' supports holding the laminated Swedish timber roof beamd which shape the lightweight, profiled steel cladding roof. The changing rooms are built as solid masonry.

In the summer, roof vents can be opened to allow natural ventilation to minimise humidity, while a mechanical ventilation system is also in use. The large glass wall is double-glazed to reduce heat loss when cooler.


  • Begun: 1995
  • Completed: 1996
  • Sectors: Sports and leisure, Education
  • Total cost: £1.3M
  • Tender date: 1994
  • Address: Haileybury Sports Complex, Haileybury, Hertford, SG13 7NU, United Kingdom

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