Vortex Channel Partner: Ustigate Waterplay
Architect: FaulknerBrowns Architects
Photo credit: Britannia Leisure Centre & Hackney Council
Story shared with permission from Ustigate Waterplay
Originally opened in 1980 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the much-loved Britannia Leisure Centre was approaching its end of life with repair bills on the rise. Hackney Council appointed FaulknerBrowns Architects to re-imagine a state-of-the-art leisure center, including aquatic play designed by Vortex and Ustigate Waterplay.
The massive water play area includes two Splashpad® areas: a zero-depth space that promotes inclusivity and accessibility, and a second shallow-depth toddler area that encourages water confidence. A vibrant Elevations™ play structure is also available in the zero-depth area, offering playful interactive water features, a kiddie slide, and a SuperSplash No2 tipping bucket.
Britannia Leisure Centre received over 10,000 visitors in its first week of opening and welcomed nearly 400,000 visitors in its first six months. Over the course of 2022, the facility picked up a multitude of awards in recognition of its inclusive, accessible, and sustainable design and activities. In December 2022, it was recognized as “Water Leisure Venue of the Year” at the annual UK Pool & Spa Awards.
« After a very difficult few years due to the pandemic, I am so proud we have delivered one of London’s best leisure centres, with absolutely incredible facilities that are affordable and accessible for local people to enjoy. The new Britannia Leisure Centre is not just a fantastic, state-of-the-art, and truly inclusive building, it’s a visible embodiment of our commitment to rebuild a better Hackney after the pandemic. »
« I hope for generations to come it will help support young and old to improve their health and wellbeing, while bringing fun and joy to all those who use it. »