Case Study

Grange Paddocks Leisure


The £22m Grange Paddocks Leisure Centre is a replacement of outdated facilities, set in a beautiful park. A ‘building within the landscape’ is a key design theme.

In addition to a new 25m 8-lane competition pool, the centre offers 2 Fitness Group rooms and a 130-station Fitness Studio. The Fitness rooms overlook the park, and on the ground floor a cafe opens out onto Grange Paddocks park and play areas.

The design with its freeform shape blending into the park landscape, called for curved timber facades – with the backdrop of the sweeping curves set off by a rhythm of dark red window, door and louvre components. 

Curves could be created by faceting the timber, however A2O’s carpenters curved the timber itself horizontally, creating a spectacular façade profile against the sky.


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The design called for curved timber, though faceted would have been easier. A2O had to make it work. 

The face of the timber was to curve, while retaining enough structural integrity to remain stable. The quality challenge was to build the curved timber to fit, providing additional support to compensate for the reduced timber strength. 

The setting out of the timber was another challenge.

The timber was treated to prevent spread of flame and A2O had to develop a fire strategy to LPS1531.

The team had to work at this live site over the COVID-19 lockdown.


The timber is curved horizontally, with grooves cut out of back of timber by A2O’s skilled installers.

A2O trialled notches to the back of the timber at varying intervals and spacings. The vertical support grid centres were reduced from 600mm to 300mm, with the additional support compensating for the reduced timber strength.

The coursing of the timber lined up with the brickwork and window interfaces.  

A2O worked with the fire barrier provider – curved fire barriers were provided by the supplier. 

The project was completed on schedule despite implementation of COVID-19 measures.

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