Client American Community School Cobham

The sports complex at the American School in Cobham is designed around two key areas : a 25 m pool and a sports hall to contain an international size basketball court. In addition a dance studio, fitness suite, cafe, and administration areas are provided at ground level, with changing rooms, and plant sunk at a lower level.

The pool hall has a north-westerly orientation, and this is exploited to allow for full height glazing on three sides, which provides both excellent daylighting and dramatic views of the surrounding woodland.

The orientation avoids low-level sun reflecting off the water resulting in a glare source to spectators and lifeguards. The daylighting consists of linear rooflights alternating with trapezoidal rooflights which permit sunlight directly into the pool. All glazing to the pool is low emissivity clear glass, to maximize daylight levels.

Whilst high levels of direct daylight are ideal forthe pool, the sports hall requires a different approach, more controlled natural light suitable for ball games, and where views out are not justified. The roof form is similar to the pool hall, but the specification for the glazing is changed. The double glazed units use a grey solar glass for the outside panes to moderate the incoming light, and an opalescent glass on the inside for diffusion, even when the sun is shining directly on to it.

In addition clerestory windows and strip windows inset into the facade contribute to an evenly lit space. Low level sun is controlled by means of louvres to the perimeters of the pool and sports hall roofs.

The primary entrance level is open and transparent, with all spaces benefitting from natural light, making the addition of artificial light during the day unnecessary; whilst double-volume circulation spaces open up the changing-room level to allow natural light into the deepest areas of the building.

Site plan
Sport Hall Behance
Plan of sports hall entrance level
American Community School Cobham Pool
Sports hall general area


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