Cowan Architects has designed two Paragon–Sprung Structures as a Cricket and Golf centre which have recently been completed and opened at Millfield School. The elite sporting school will benefit enormously from these two state-of-the-art facilities which include full length cricket lanes, fielding practice areas, a putting green and full-length practice bays. There are also changing, office and other facilities.
The structures are innovative and are the first to be built in the UK for over 15 years. As such they have now been shown to be fully compliant to UK building regulations.
Back in 1887, Canadian company, Sprung, developed a “fabric structure like no other” that was a uniquely tough canvas for chuck wagons and pioneers’ tents. Decade upon decade has seen improvements until now the tents have become high-performance, portable building structure that is currently finding its use in a growing number of new and varied applications. After designing and constructing the NASA Space Shuttle housing facility in the early 1980s, these portable structures began to gain a good reputation. More recently, the high-quality materials that are individually tested have proven their durability in some of the most extreme climates on earth, from the hottest desert to the windiest arctic tundra and coldest mountain highland. The only building left standing in Buras, Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was a Sprung tensile structure.
Cowan Architects, working with Sprung’s UK partner, Paragon Structures, has applied this engineering masterpiece in the development of these two new, world-class sports and teaching facilities which have been designed to fit alongside existing facilities and sports areas.
These advanced, fabric tensile structures are meticulously engineered to allow total design flexibility, all-weather performance, strength, long-term quality and cost-effectiveness. But it is the speed in which they can be designed and constructed that really impresses – as does the relative cost value. Their modularity also makes them easy to re-locate but the patented technology and construction features have additional advantages that extend their applications.
Paragon Structures largely uses this product in the sports and education sectors but it can span a multitude of opportunities from warehousing to logistics, military to industrial units, healthcare to hospitality events and even aircraft hangers.
For a school, the attractions are numerous. It has versatility as the design can be tailored to meet any school’s specific needs. The speed of construction is also particularly appealing as it will keep the disruption to the rest of the school to a minimum.
Many clients will also find that the progressive look and feel of the buildings work well to reflect an aspiration to be ‘leading the field’.
Time savings are significant and can be counted in weeks rather than months. Other benefits include a 20% saving in energy running costs, an air-tight envelope, high ceiling, BREEAM Excellent rating, the need for fewer light fittings due to the Sports England compliant daylighting panels, and its easy re-location – should the need arise.