Competition-winning swimming and leisure complex is designed to echo its seaside setting

Architect Wilkinson Eyre’s scheme for a new £17m swimming and leisure complex on Worthing’s seafront has been submitted for planning approval.

The result of an international RIBA competition, the scheme will replace the ageing 1960s Aquarena, which is to be redeveloped. It will include a health and fitness facility as well as several swimming pools.

The complex will have be a diving learner pool with 3m springboard, a six-lane competition lap pool with spectator seating, a leisure pool with a flume, and an outdoor paddling pool with special water features.

The health and fitness component will include a suite for 100 exercise stations, two multi-use studios, and a spa suite with steam and sauna rooms.

The scheme, which will connect Brighton Road to the seafront is described by the architect as a sustainable development that “responds to the natural environment of the seashore”.

The parallel curving lines of the roof are designed to echo the windswept ridges in the sand and extend towards the sea like the defensive groynes on the beach. These lines provide the primary structural spines of the pool hall roof form, opening up views to the sea.

A model and drawing of the complex are on show at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, which opened to public this week.

The design team includes engineers Aecom and Drivers Jonas Deloitte as project managers. If permission is granted for the scheme, work will start on site early next year.