Beckenham Spa Swimming Complex

LDA Architects, Beckenham, 1999


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Entrance to the spa complex  

Graham Gaunt (website)     Download Original

  • Entrance to the spa complex     
  • View of terracotta tiles and glass bricks    
  • Side elevation    
  • Pool    
  • The club room enjoys views of the pools    
  • Panels of glass blocks and glass walls to the seating bays allow swimmers to enjoy natural light    
  • Bright colours in the swimming pool    
  • The bar as conceived by the architect – at present a timber trellis divides the space in two    
  • Cafe overlooking the swimming pool    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Upper level plan    
  • Long section    
  • Detail of rainscreen wall of tiles and render    
  • Details of rainscreen wall of tiles and render    

Insertion of spa complex along side the refurbishment of an existing dry sports facility to include a fitness suite, crèche and children's play zone

Situated just off Beckenham High Street, the bar and reception areas of this leisure centre form one edge of an urban square whose remaining edges are defined by an arts centre and library.

The center contains a 20m teaching pool and an eight-lane 25m competition pool, all housed in a 15m high space. The large scale of the building is broken down externally by bays created by ‘pulled out’ sections of wall. These bays provide areas of poolside seating and admit light through lateral glazed brick walls. Painted a bright yellow colour internally, the bay contrasts with a panel of bright blue glazed tiles at the foot of the pool. Together these coloured planes act to break up the monotony of the internal walls.

Tubular steel roof trusses are left exposed, and are lit from above by light filtering through louvers. This game of architectural transparency is repeated in the large expanses of glass walling which link views of the pools, café and beyond to the Beckenham’s public square.


  • Begun: Sep 1997
  • Completed: Mar 1999
  • Floor area: 3,790m2
  • Sector: Sports and leisure
  • Total cost: £5.2M
  • Tender date: Sep 1997
  • Procurement: JCT80
  • Address: 24 Beckenham Road, Beckenham, BR3 4PF, United Kingdom

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