St Sidwells Point

The quality is fantastic, and what we will see at the end of it all will be just breathtaking. I really can’t wait for it to open.
Phil Bialyk, Leader of Exeter City Council

Gale & Snowden were commissioned by Exeter City Council for the design and construction of a new state-of-the-art leisure centre in Exeter. Gale & Snowden partnered with S&P Architects and Arup Group to form an Integrated Design Team of specialist, human-centred, low-energy, and healthy building experts. We value our clients and partners alike, who believe in building exceptional spaces for diverse communities. The brief for this facility includes:

  • Main and learner pools with moveable floors and changing village
  • Confidence water pool
  • 100-spectator seating area
  • Café and soft play area
  • Health suite and health spa
  • 150 station fitness gym and changing rooms

Sustainability Outcomes:

  • The world’s first Passivhaus-certified multi-zoned leisure centre
  • Building Biology IBN best practice in healthy building design
  • Best practice guidance developed under the TSB’s Design for Future Climate programme

Key Benefits of Achieving Sustainability Outcomes:

  • 70% saving on energy costs compared to current good practice
  • 50% reduction in water use
  • Outstanding internal water quality and air quality
  • Excellent daylighting levels
  • Healthy, uplifting and comfortable indoor environment
  • Low maintenance costs from high quality building fabric & mechanical systems
  • Resilience against predicted future climate change

Architecture and Passivhaus Consultancy

In redeveloping the site, the facility has become the arrival point to conclude a series of interconnected spaces across Exeter’s new Princesshay area, an aspiration of Exeter to improve permeability across the city and redevelop Saint Sidwell’s. The facility is to become a regional destination for health and wellbeing where the community can enjoy a safe and clean environment for interaction, exercise and recovery in an exemplar community leisure centre.

The site’s spatial constraints have been an opportunity to maximise the use of a brownfield site whilst minimising form factor and expanding Exeter’s urban character over a redundant site. The building is split into two interlinking forms, each accommodating ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ zones where adjacent internal temperature zones are arranged to reduce inter-zonal energy losses. This is one of many passive design principles applied to reduce annual heating demand without increasing capital expenditure.

Gale & Snowden were involved since the inception of the project in 2011 and provided design and consultancy services over 10 years through RIBA Stages 0 to 6.  At the outset, the practice helped to obtain funding from the Technology Strategy Board to assess the impact of future climate on a leisure centre in various locations in the city of Exeter. Gale & Snowden were then appointed as part of a multi-disciplinary Design Team to lead the project regarding low energy Passivhaus design incorporating healthy design principles (Building Biology), computer modelling and designing for climate change adaptation as well as Architects for the envelope of the building.

  • Building
    Passivhaus Multi-Leisure Facility
  • Location
    Exeter, UK
  • Completion
    2022
  • Size
    £44m
  • Client
    Exeter City Council