The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) announced that its designs for a joint Sports and Sciences department for the UK’s Brighton College have been approved. The Rem Koolhaas–owned architecture practice won an invited competition in 2013, and the project was further developed and submitted for planning approval in 2015.
The unveiled designs envision a linear building at the edge of the college’s playing field that combines the two departments for a “lively and animated circulation” inside. The primary sporting spaces will be at the same level as the playing field, with the sports hall opening directly onto it.
A rooftop running track and basement-level swimming pool are among other expected amenities. Meanwhile, the science department spans over the sporting spaces like a “skeletal” bridge. The facade of the three-story building is inspired by the terraced housing adjacent to the building. As the biggest construction project in the school’s 170-year history, it will form an unexpected interplay between the two academic disciplines.
The privately-owned, co-ed boarding and day school, one of Britain’s finest, is composed of two areas: a historical quadrangle hosting Grade II–listed gothic-revival buildings designed by Sir Gilbert Scott and Sir Thomas Jackson in the 19th century, and the playing field bordered by buildings from the 1970s and 1980s, the site of OMA’s new construction.
Before building can commence, however, the 1970s sports hall, classroom block, maintenance building, and two-story pavilion must be demolished first. The project forms the final phase of a more than $62 million masterplan, which includes two other new buildings—a boarding house and amenities building by Allies & Morrison.