berners pool, grange over sands

Grange over Sands has been without a swimming pool since the 1930s lido closed several years ago. The site for its replacement is bounded by mature trees and is gently sloping with a magnificent aspect towards Morecambe Bay and Arnside Knott beyond. The brief was to simply capture the former spirit of the lido.

The town is characterised by its fine grain and in response the building is divided into three volumes; the swimming pool, the ancillary accommodation block and a glazed architectural promenade which links the two spaces. Sea views are framed between the two main elements of the building, reflecting similar vistas which can be gained between the flanks of the town’s buildings. The architectural composition utilises the natural fall in the site to house the pool within a concrete ‘Miesian’ plinth, which also forms the foundation for the structurally expressive pool hall and the more reticent ancillary accommodation block.

The promenade extends from the entrance of the site into the new reception area, internally bisecting the building which culminates with a view over the bay from a raised terrace area.
Within this promenade is located a café bar which overlooks the adjacent 25 × 9 m pool. The ancillary accommodation block facilitates a health suite, gymnasium and two multi purpose meeting rooms to sustain the requirements of the local community.

Hodder’s experience of pool design has helped the intricacy of pool functions to slip into the background. As elsewhere, Hodder’s palette is limited, but used with verve. A practised hand shapes details, aligns joints, defines junctions. And everywhere there is daylight, an echo of the lido, but without the wind and rain of an English summer.”

Barrie Evans,
The Architect’s Journal
22 April 2004