University of Galway Watersports Facility
Located centrally in the campus, the Watersports Facility consists of a fractured plan arrangement which separates the facility into two elements – the Boat Shed and the Clubhouse. These elements are simple forms but present an opportunity to enhance the setting and enliven and overlook the public realm. This design concept compliments existing pedestrian movement corridors and provides an edge to the Engineering Green at this location to frame the open space. A future greenway will increase the river walkway amenity. Providing a new access to the river with a new public realm adjacent is one of the significant additions of the scheme to the campus. This will enhance the engineering green, create a new legible tree cluster relationship with the pedestrian movement routes and present a wonderful new addition for sporting activity on the campus.
Through the creation of two separate stand alone elements, one 2 storey and 1 single storey, it provides for sculptural forms that sit in the landscape, addressing the river and the internal campus movement network. Carefully formed roof profiles animate the skyline and define the dynamic function of the facility. Neutral colours form a passive backdrop to the movement of the river and staff/students through the space. Whilst the Water sports Facility could be seen as largely utilitarian, providing storage and changing rooms for the users, it will also house Club Space – gym rooms, training facilities, meetings spaces, offices and a café which will ensure it is a building with a public face and activity generated to overlook all external areas and enliven the pedestrian experience at the underpass. The Water Sports Facility as designed will create an edge to the engineering green and an active frontage to this underutilised space, facilitate and enhance pedestrian access along the West and East façades of the Watersports Facility, provide a permeable visual and physical connection to the river with excellent public realm and facilitate the greenway as a cycling and walking route along the Rivers Edge and provide space for users to pause and use the café/facilities at this juncture.