CHALLENGE. The new Queens Park Rangers training academy and community sports complex strives to establish a new standard in training centre design, with professional sports sitting alongside a development academy and community hub. This concept is integral to QPR, who believe that the essence of the club lies in its west London community. The facilities include state-of-the art indoor amenities, 11 outdoor pitches and an indoor covered pitch that will provide the setting for all-weather training. A further 11 community pitches will also be a key element of the design.
INNOVATION. The form of the building is derived from the aspiration to create a timber pavilion within the landscape. The primary facade material of timber will express the simple yet elegant building form, whilst simultaneously giving the desired natural and sympathetic aesthetic that will acknowledge the green backdrop of the pitches and existing landscape beyond. With a glazing and timber-louvered system also proposed, the desired ‘clean’ and ‘sharp’ architecture will be achieved.
Entering the main building via a shared reception, the academy and first team then enter their respective areas on either side of the building. Visual connections are retained between both areas, instilling a desire to move through the building, and a motivation to progress through the academy youth teams to the first team. Shared social spaces also link the two elements of the club, and provide an area within which all of the club staff can interact.
As a hub for the community, the project will also include the provision of a community pavilion, 11 community football pitches and three cricket wickets, which will provide facilities for local teams and clubs to play local league fixtures and friendlies.
IMPACT. The QPR elite and development squad training facilities will consist of three first team pitches and eight academy/youth pitches, changing rooms, gymnasium, hydrotherapy and full medical facilities, together with the associated support staff and back-of-house facilities. Kitchen and dining spaces are located on the upper floor, together with coaching and administrative offices and the classrooms required by the academy. An indoor hall is also provided to meet the requirements for category 1 academies.