Pope John Paul II Park was developed from a disused railway shunting-yard in the 1950’s and it is now an intensively used sports park. On the ground floor the building provides six paired external changing rooms for the outdoor playing pitches. These are independently accessed and each is a self-contained unit with WC and showers. Also accessed externally are the referees changing room, changing rooms for the all-weather pitch and three store rooms for nets and other equipment.
The main entrance faces the playing pitches and the entrance ‘forecourt’ is an extension of the path circuiting the park, which is also to be developed as a running track. The main hall is a standard single sports hall suitable for basketball, indoor soccer, badminton and volley ball. Other accommodation on the ground floor includes a dance studio, martial arts studio and the main changing rooms.
The main stairs leads directly to a canteen area at the first floor which overlooks the main hall and the all-weather pitch. The fitness studios overlook the external playing pitches and these can be sub-divided with folding screens. A self-contained suite of rooms provide a child-care facility with access to the timber decked terrace to the south west. A number for further community rooms also share access to this deck, which acts as a viewing terrace to the all-weather pitch below.
Various forms of roof-lighting maximise lighting from above and the section has been developed to capitalise on borrowed light where the plan is deepest. While the main studio spaces are calm and simple, the circulation spaces have been invested with incident and detail. In particular; colour has been introduced to respond to the moments of greatest light intensity, while views through to neighbouring rooms and across the section of the building have been orchestrated to allow the participants to see and be seen.