Munrow Sports Centre, University of Birmingham, UK

Chamberlain, Powell & Bon
Date Built
Edgbaston Campus
As you can see from these images, when I visited the campus the Munrow was closed and presumably awaiting demolition.  Chamberlain, Powell and Bon were commissioned to design a sports centre for the university in 1958.  The "Edgbaston Central Campus Development - Hybrid Planning Application" document, dated March 2012, explains that the brief for the sports centre was to include, "... a sports hall, two large and small gymnasia, an indoor ice-rink, squash-courts, a swimming pool with diving platforms, an administration and health centre, six outdoor tennis courts and a boat-house (adjacent to the canal). The centrepiece of the building was to have been the swimming pool, raised on piloti and with an extraordinary organic roof constructed of sprayed concrete."

Construction got underway in 1961 and by 1966 the first phase of the development was complete.  This comprised, "... a large sports hall, a small gymnasia, a large gymnasium and associated changing rooms. .... but escalating costs coupled with a shortage of building materials, the introduction of a Government moratorium on university building projects, and a massive rise in the rate of inflation, led to the abandonment of the original design. Both the swimming pool (1976) and squash courts (1978) were erected by Walter Holme & Sons (described at the time as a ‘Package Deal Contractor’), using standardised components."

In November 2017, the Munrow sits abandoned and awaiting its fate.  A new Sport and Fitness Centre opened on May 22, 2017, located on the edge of the campus at the junction os Edgbaston Park Road and Bristol Road.  Its website says that it includes, "... the city’s first 50m pool, as well as an extensive state-of-the-art gym; five activity studios for classes; a squash court complex; a large multi-sports arena; a climbing wall and much more."