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Woodland swimming for Freemen's

New pool at City of London Freemen's School to create sense of swimming amongst the trees of the surrounding woodland

Posted by Hannah Oakman | March 09, 2016 | Bricks & mortar

Mole Valley District Council has granted planning consent to HawkinsBrown’s design for a new six-lane, 25-metre swimming pool at the City of London Freemen’s School in Surrey. The consent gives the green light to the second phase of the masterplan developed for the school by HawkinsBrown, which has already seen the completion of a new boarding house and music school.

The new pool makes use of innovative timber construction techniques and extensive offsite fabrication to create a building that sits within its setting of mature woodland.

Adam Cossey, Associate at HawkinsBrown, said: “Our design for the City of London Freemen’s School’s new pool sits gently within the wooded landscape of the school grounds. The deep columns of the all-timber construction and wraparound glazing, which gives direct views from the water into woodland, will give the sense of swimming amongst the trees.

“The all-timber construction has a number of advantages in dealing with the challenges of a pool environment – it’s resilient, waterproof and environmentally sound. It also provides a beautiful, natural surface that creates a special environment to swim in.”

An artist's impression of the new swimming pool

Roland Martin, Headmaster of the City of London Freemen’s School, said: 'It is very exciting to be progressing with an innovative design from Hawkins Brown which is in sympathy both with other buildings on site, the environment and with the vision that we have at Freemen’s to make it a progressive place of learning for the children in our care. Everyone involved at the school – not least the Board of Governors ­– is eager to see these wonderful plans realised.' 

The design was prepared in 2015 following a fire that destroyed the school’s original pool in 2014. The proposal relocates the pool from the west to the east side of the campus, placing it amongst the school’s existing sporting facilities to create a focused “sports hub”. The relocation has the additional benefit of restoring the setting of the school’s listed grounds and neoclassical main building.    

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