Canoe Lake Leisure Tennis Pavilion / PAD studio

Canoe Lake Leisure Tennis Pavilion / PAD studio

© Richard Chivers © Richard Chivers © Nigel Rigden © Richard Chivers + 13

  • Architects Authors of this architecture project PAD studio
  • Area Area of this architecture project
    322.0 m2
  • Project Year Brands with products used in this architecture project
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Arrowhive, Charter, DANOSA, Petersen Tegl, Smart Aluminium
  • Lead Architects

    Wendy Perring, PAD Studio
  • Photographs

  • Brick Manufacturer

    Petersen Tegl
  • Construction Manager

    Rice Projects
  • Sustainable Energy Consultant

    Mesh Energy
  • Engineers

    Eckersley O’Callaghan
More Specs Less Specs
© Richard Chivers
© Richard Chivers

Text description provided by the architects. The vision for Canoe Lake Leisure Tennis Pavilion was to create a truly public building as part of a substantial regeneration project for Southsea Common, a historic part of Portsmouth, UK.


The brief was to create a permanent home for the Tennis Club, in Southsea, whilst also creating a multi-functioning space to host a wide range of community events, for all ages, throughout the year. A key design requirement was for a two-storey building to take full advantage of the unique setting with views across the tennis courts, the lake and beyond. The building design, however, had to be sensitive and unobtrusive to the surrounding community and residential buildings.

© Richard Chivers
© Richard Chivers

Architectural the approach was to create a robust and solid ground floor form which asserts itself on the site, with a visually lightweight and delicate first floor sat atop. The ground floor, formed from brick, has large openings which are carved away to reveal views into the building and activity on the courts beyond, inviting the community to engage with tennis and the activities within. The bricks are Danish handmade clay bricks, rarely seen in public buildings of this scale, much longer than a standard UK brick and half as high, helping the building appear to sit lower and longer.

Ground floor plan
Ground floor plan

The pavilion’s first floor viewing gallery is designed to be as unobtrusive, transparent and delicate as possible. Initially a second floor was difficult to gain approval for, due to concerns with mass and scale. With persistence, a scheme with a delicate slim butterfly roof floating above the largely glazed first floor was approved, reducing the building mass and creating covered outdoor space.

© Richard Chivers
© Richard Chivers

In the interior the design had to be hard wearing and enduring, the deliberately utilitarian interior is softened with plywood linking, ash floors, a wonderfully tactile cast concrete exposed roof and uses furnishings to add a pop of colour. The multifunctioning space of the pavilion is used on a regular basis for many different functions including art classes, playwright workshops and fitness groups.


This building is intended to be a beacon not only for tennis, but for the community and for Southsea who have eagerly embraced the facility.

© Nigel Rigden
© Nigel Rigden

Project gallery

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Project location

Address: Southsea, Portsmouth, United Kingdom

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Canoe Lake Leisure Tennis Pavilion / PAD studio" 07 Jul 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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