Leisure Centre
Client: London Borough of Barking & Dagenham / Willmott Dixon
Location: Barking
Status: Complete

Abbey Leisure Centre in Barking was the final piece in the jigsaw for the London Borough of Barking investing over £10m in a new 6 lane 25m swimming pool, learner pool, fitness & health suite and soft play leisure centre.

Saunders Boston was appointed as part of the ‘delivery’ team alongside D&B main contractor Willmott Dixon following a competitive tender and interview process. Our role was to complete the building design originally undertaken by another architect's practice who was retained in a client-side role.

Saunders Boston has worked closely with the contractor team to ensure the integrity of the design was fully executed during the delivery process. Taking on the role of lead designer during our appointment we were responsible for co-ordinating; structures, services, acoustics and fire engineers as well as specialist design elements such as the filtration system.

Architecturally the development sits comfortably in its context adjacent to a regeneration zone and the listed ‘Barking Town Hall’. A combination of  concrete colonnades, contemporary brickwork and glazing ensures the building achieves its own identity.

This project offered several technical challenges, including a cast in situ helical feature staircase with built-in feature lighting, projecting brickwork which creates the effect of a swimmer moving through the water and a concrete colonnade.

Project Scope

  • 25m 6 Lane Swimming Pool
  • Fitness Suite (50 stn)
  • Multi-purpose Studio
  • Martial Arts Studio
  • Health Suite & Spa