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Set in the Hatfield countryside, the Royal Veterinary College sports centre provides a flexible and sociable space at the heart of the college campus.

Designed by NORR Consultants Ltd and delivered by Ashe Construction, the sports facility includes a MUGA sports hall, dance studio, gym, climbing wall and changing facilities, as well as new parking and landscaping. The client requested a building that integrated smoothly with the wider campus, incorporating landscaping and social spaces.

NORR Consultants’ design utilises three rectangular buildings, with different heights creating interest at roof level whilst respecting neighbouring properties. The courtyard areas linking the three sites are thoughtfully landscaped to punctuate routes through the campus and provide outdoor social spaces.

The building is clad in Russwood Siberian larch, providing a durable, natural material that complements the colours of the landscape. The louvred design maximises natural light whilst reducing solar gain.

In a nod to the surrounding woodlands, the building is held behind a mature tree line which gives way to a large sunny entrance courtyard, while vertical timber fins reflect the shapes of the forest.

NORR Consultants said: “Russwood provided the required quality, finish and profile within budget to meet the design requirements of the project. We were very impressed with the quality and consistency of the cut of the timber and look forward to seeing it as it weathers.”

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