Text description provided by the architects. The new building at Aberdeen Sports Village is a civic building and the product of an enlightened community of client groups. The joint funders of the project - the University of Aberdeen, SportScotland and Aberdeen City Council - worked together with Reiach and Hall during 2005-2007 to carefully define a brief that met their contrasting requirements. The building was procured using a single stage design and build contract which lasted 22 months from contract award to building completion. The building opened to the public in August 2009.
The building is an accredited performance development centre for a wide variety of sports. It contains a dojo, a full size indoor football pitch, a 9-court multi-purpose games hall, an indoor athletics hall, 4 squash courts, a multi-purpose studio, a 100 station fitness suite, a 500 seat spectators stand, offices, a café, changing facilities, sports performance laboratories and an external artificial hockey pitch. The Village has been pre-selected as a training base for the 2012 Olympics.
Sport is about commitment and discipline, but it is also about having fun. All good sportsmen should have discipline and technical ability, but the great sportsmen, the ones we remember affectionately, also have flair and personality, something special that sets them apart from the ordinary. The building in Aberdeen takes this thought as an inspiration. It is rigorously planned, but also contains many gestures and elements relating to sport and play.
For example, the formations of world cup winning football teams inspired the arrangement of the viewing windows to the football hall. A large 104m long structural truss that holds up the floors of the fitness suite, dance studio and weight lifting area is a muscular gesture that represents strength, whilst the slender structural elements of the walls and roof aim to represent elegance and finesse. Colours relating to sports clothing and equipment have been carefully incorporated into the design to enliven circulation spaces and help people to orientate themselves throughout the building.
In the sports centre in Aberdeen, we have tried to design a building containing inspiring spaces that will be more than just useful to Scottish communities for many generations to come. We were delighted when Louise Martin CBE, chair of SportScotland, said: “The north-east now has a fantastic training and competition venue which I hope will inspire many more people to get active and provide the region’s talented athletes with the standard of facilities they need to develop to their full potential.”