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helenswood school sports centre hastings

Client: Helenswood School

New sports facilities at Helenswood School had been planned for some years and were finally completed in 2003 thanks to a 90% Sport England grant.

The scheme provides a new sports hall, including a gymnastics ‘tumble-run’, allowing the existing sports hall to be converted into a new entrance and foyer with a health and fitness centre and dance studio on the first floor.

This design incorporates the following facilities:

  • health and fitness gym
  • dance studio
  • four-court sports hall
  • gymnastics tumble run
  • foyer and reception
  • changing accommodation
  • administration.

This scheme was the first in England to use a system of ‘pore’ ventilation, which had been used in Scandinavia and Canada.  The principle introduces fresh air through the building fabric, using slow speed fans. The specially constructed roof and ceiling acts as a large diffuser and heat exchanger, utilising the transmission heat losses to temper the incoming air. This is an extremely energy efficient system, but it additionally provides considerable benefits in that the air is also filtered, removing the particulates that can exacerbate asthma. Our research into this system was funded by a grant from the BRE.

The site is on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which required that the design was such as to minimise its visual impact from the north.


Helenswood Conifer
  • Helenswood Conifer
  • Helenswood gym
  • Helenswood Gym mats
  • Helenswood mat work
  • Helenswood Tree shadows
  • Helenswood tumble run in air
  • Helenswood tumble run landing