Dry diving training centres allow diving practice without water, using foam pits and trampolines
instead - more practice dives can be performed if the athlete doesn't have to
swim to the rim of the pool between dives. The client requirements were specific - an international
standard training centre with international standard equipment, adequate head height, and level
access for equipment and athletes.
We wanted to protect the prosaic, efficiently beautiful character of the existing barn. Its form and
detail illustrates how simple material was used to form an enclosure that perfectly fit its original
purpose. This aesthetic, the happy intersection of the existing form with the new set of
requirements and a limited budget, all drove the design. We did not have the money to destroy the
beautiful concrete or replace the corrugated skin - the money had to be spent on diving boards and
These constraints meant interventions had to be very specific. The battered concrete wall was cut to
allow access from the gymnasium to the diving hall and then simply sealed. The function of floor was
fundamental to both spaces - a sprung floor in the gymnasium to mitigate the impact of exercise on
knees, and a raised floor in the diving hall to allow level access to trampolines and to accommodate
the downward flex of diving boards. A carpet finish allows athletes to walk through the space in
comfort. The different floor levels generated a need for a stairs and a ramp to link gymnasium to
diving hall. The thermal environment was controlled by blocking the previously open ends of the
diving hall, spraying foam onto the existing corrugated skin, and installing blow heaters. Natural light
was allowed into the space through a corrugated polycarbonate strip around both spaces.
Completed September 2013.

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