In the world of swimming and sports centres the growth of excellence in community facilities has been driven by a few key players. At the forefront of the design and delivery of some stunning buildings – including the Olympic Aquatics Centre – is the number one company, S&P Architects. With dozens of prestigious projects under their belt throughout the UK and Ireland it is difficult to comprehend the size of their operation, with regional offices in London, Nottingham, Glasgow and Dublin. They are soon to open an office in Birmingham. At the helm of today’s company, founded by two architects in 1982 – Peter Sergeant and Mark Potiriadis – is a man who admits he is hardly ever in the same office two days running.
As the £24 billion London Olympics continues to dominate the headlines, UK leisure attention is already refocusing on grass roots sport, where funding concerns remain heightened.
A report by the Local Government Association warns that there will be severe cuts in non-statutory services by 2020 – but it is not all bad news. Sophisticated swimming pool design continues to deliver cost-savings while offering the potential for increased income generation by attracting more visitors – particularly the young – into the water.