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Winner’s Story – Little Knavesmire Sports Pavilion

Commercial/Community/Public/Education: Large 2017

The Hamilton Panthers Football Club previously occupied an historic but dilapidated air-observation building from World War II. Its replacement provides all the basic requirements for football club at this modest local level – but it includes a canteen/cafe which is also open to the general public and other groups such as the York Schools Cross Country Runners, York Carers and the NHS. This ensures the building can play an important general role in locality. The building is made with simple materials inside and out, with an interior enlivened with the club colours yellow and blue.

The building occupies a very conspicuous site at the edge of the open green space along Tadcaster Road. By giving the roof a simple sculptural form, the designers have managed to make this essentially utilitarian building into an eye-catching building that relates very effectively to the landscape.

The story of its creation started in January 2011. PRA Architects were invited to assist Hamilton Panthers Football Club to promote the design of a new clubhouse. The football club’s existing changing facilities were housed in an oppressive building, much vandalised and not fit for purpose. The building’s location on Little Knavesmire, part of the greater Knavesmire and racecourse, presented an opportunity to design a contemporary pavilion worthy of its prominent location.

The new pavilion serves and sustains the football club’s members young and old, as well as the wider community. It includes the requisite changing rooms and a café with a function space that is available to the local community for non-football uses.

Funding to realise the project was sourced from several organisations: Football Stadia Improvement Fund, Hamilton Panthers Football Club, Sport England, City of York Council and The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.

In terms of sustainability, the use of the café and multi-use function space provides the club with a modest income stream which subsidises the running of the club and the costs of running and maintaining the building. A simple palette of external materials arranged as a contemporary design, presents a sustainable building. The central function space is Cedar clad and is set at an elevated roof level with a standing seam aluminium monopitch roof.

Wrapped around this space are the lower height changing rooms which are faced in brickwork and act as a visual foil for the higher function space which is the ‘heart’ of the building. Powder coated aluminium windows and bi-fold doors complement the simple range of the external materials. The internal finishes are functional, hard wearing and easy to clean, finished in bright primary colours to match the club’s livery. The function room has a laminate floor and simple matt white walls with brick slip panels from named sponsors.

It was a project that impressed the York Design Awards judging panel on both its design merit and its place in the local community, from which the building has widespread support.

Project Team

Client: City of York Council
Architects: PRA Architects
Builder: Transcore Ltd

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