Client:  Dover District Council/BAM

Architect:  GT3 Architects


At the heart of the new £26m Dover District Leisure Centre is an eight-lane 25m county-standard competition swimming pool with spectator seating for 250 people, as well as a learner pool with a moveable floor to allow for varying depths of water. Designed with GT3 Architects the new leisure centre will also include a 4-court sports hall, squash courts, multi-function room, gym, fitness studios, clip ‘n’ climb wall, and a café.  Externally there will be 3G artificial pitches for five-a-side football, and a minimum of 250 parking spaces. Engenuiti have undertaken the structural and civil engineering design for the project.

 The structural design included the design of all substructure and superstructure elements in a variety of materials and construction methods. Visually exposed glulam beams were used for the long span roof structures to the swimming pool, with the sports hall being framed with steel cellular beams. The main entrance canopy also features visually exposed glulam columns with expressed connections.

The suspended floor slabs to the studios, fitness suite, dry changing and external plant spaces have been designed as a steel frame with composite concrete floors for speed of erection and resistance against dynamic loadings. The ground floor slab has been designed as ground bearing, with a precast pour stop designed into the slab edge to allow the façade to be constructed prior to the ground floor slab being completed. The swimming pool structures have also been designed in reinforced concrete, with a waterproof admixture and limited crack widths to ensure their water retention. The foundation solution consists of precast piles driven into the underlying chalk stratum below, design to carry vertical loads from the structure and resist heave pressures from the clay stratum above.

Engenuiti also prepared a flood risk assessment and a foul and surface water drainage strategy for this project that made an allowance for the outfall from the pool backwash filtration system and incorporated deep-bore soakaways. As the substrata was chalk, due consideration was given to the positioning of the soakaways due to potential dissolution features. Engenuiti liaised with Southern Water in agreeing the foul sewer connection. Owing to the sloped nature of the site a detailed cut and fill analysis was developed and was used to ensure the building FFL was set at the optimum level. We also produced a levels strategy and provided pavement construction designs for the site.