University of Birmingham Fitness & Indoor Sports Centre, UK

Lifschutz, Davidson, Sandilands
Date Built
Edgbaston Campus
The University of Birmingham's new Sport & Fitness Centre occupies a site on the corner of Edgbaston Park Road and Bristol Road at the gateway to the Edgbaston Campus.  It contains the city's first Olympic size swimming pool, a range of sports halls and gyms, laboratories and testing facilities and a climbing wall.

The architect's website says that, "... Formally, the scheme is articulated as discreet volumes, detailed in brick and bronze. .... The swimming pool is placed prominently to the south, to signpost the Centre and the University beyond. A simple arrangement of spaces and structure gives the building inherent flexibility, while the staggered plan allows any of the volumes to be extended easily in the future."

Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, is quoted as saying that, "...This is a landmark occasion for the University and the city. We are delighted to be opening the doors to a pioneering facility, which will enhance Birmingham’s existing world-class sporting infrastructure and contribute to the city’s and region’s ambitions to attract global events to Birmingham and the West Midlands.”

The university's website adds that, "... The size and quality of the building will be unrivalled in both the health and fitness, and higher education markets. Materials were sourced from across the world to create an outstanding architectural building, which is designed to highest possible specifications of environmental sustainability and accessibility, including a platform lift into the pool."