Multi-million pound leisure complex receives RIBA Suffolk Award

by Francesca

RIVERSIDE Leisure Centre, a cutting-edge and energy efficient complex in Chelmsford, has received a RIBA Suffolk Award in the Sport and Leisure category. The awards aim to celebrate the best architecture in the East of England.

Independent property, construction and infrastructure consultancy Pick Everard delivered all design and cost services for the flagship scheme, which was completed in June 2019. The original building, built in the 1960s, was completely redeveloped and is now both cost and energy efficient having been awarded a ‘very good’ BREEAM sustainability rating.

Keith Prendergast, national director at Pick Everard, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have received this RIBA award, and to have designed a building that provides an impressive gateway to the city centre and delivers a greener legacy for the entire community to enjoy for years to come.”

The 25m facility provides a ten-lane swimming pool with a moveable floor; a toddler-friendly sensory splash zone and fun pool with flume; a 130-station gym; health and fitness studios; an Ofsted-registered creche; soft play facility; fully accessible changing rooms; a spacious reception foyer; and an airy cafe with terrace overlooking the River Chelmer. It also has space for 80 bicycles, in a bid to encourage greener methods of travel to the centre.

Justin Ashworth, associate at Pick Everard, said: “The design of the Riverside Leisure Centre seamlessly connects the new building to the city centre and enhances the existing riverside walk – which is a 1.5 or 2.5-mile route along the River Chelmer.

“The spin studio also looks out over the riverside walk, acting as an impressive canopy to the entrance and a really strong focal point for the whole development.”

Keith added: “The old leisure centre was nearing 60 years old and was outdated in terms of its design, facilities and energy efficiency. The council identified the complex as being unable to meet the future demand of the city. With its BREEAM rating, low carbon technology and airtight detailing, the new, modern leisure centre now leaves minimal impact on our environment and provides excellent facilities for the local community too.”

Pick Everard employs more than 600 staff across its 13 UK offices, providing a range of project, cost and design consultancy services.

For more information, please visit

To find out more about the Riverside Leisure Centre, please visit

You may also like