Bristol City FC’s new training ground is a masterclass in understated design. Thanks to an ingenious design by architects KKA, the 2000m2 training facility blends effortlessly into the north Somerset landscape.
The Robins High Performance Centre houses the football club’s first team and academy under one roof for the first time. The centre includes changing areas, rehabilitation facilities, gym, offices and catering, as well as training pitches and a 500-seat show pitch.
The long, low profile of the building sits snugly under the treeline, neatly punctuating the rolling greenbelt countryside. KKA reduced the visual massing of the centre by combining all the elements in one building. First, the show pitch seating was merged with the building in traditional and grandstand fashion. Then, site levels were manipulated to effectively bury the low-level elevations to the rear. The upper levels were formed into a single, rectilinear timber ‘box’ which sits in perfect symmetry on the landscape.
Natural timber textures
The warm, natural textures of the cladding enhance rather than dominate the green setting. KKA worked with Beard Construction and subcontractor Massey Cladding Solutions to source the perfect materials. The specification called for longevity; a product that would stand the test of time.
Attractive & versatile
Russwood’s SILA Select® Siberian Larch fit the bill, offering durability as well as attractive figuring and versatility. The cladding encases the ‘box’ building as well as providing a resilient and attractive rainscreen soffit. The boards were installed with KompeFix® ventilation strips, which allow the cladding to dry quickly and support the natural movement of the timber.
Back of the net
Architects KKA contacted Russwood early in the design process to provide literature and samples, resulting in the quality of the product being enshrined into the tender documentation. Massey was happy to proceed, describing Russwood’s cladding as a “stunning product” and the team as excellent to deal with, and “helpful from start to finish”.
This careful forethought has resulted in a showstopping building that will serve the football club for many years to come.