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As experts in ETFE cushion design and engineering, Architen were approached by LA Architects in the late summer of 2018 to help develop a concept for a large ETFE cushion rooflight over a 50m swimming pool for a new sports and leisure facility.

The original design intent was to allow maximum light into the space along with minimising any potential outdoor noise. The decision was taken to opt for clear layers of ETFE for the cushion itself, with light being controlled using a series of louvres between the roof and the pool itself, and then to fit Architen’s Rain Suppression layer to the ETFE cushion system, to help with any potential rain noise.

After a competitive tender round, Architen were appointed by Willmot Dixon to undertake the ETFE cushion roofing works, ETFE rain suppression layer and coordinate the design of the steelwork.

The ETFE rooflight comprises seven large rectangular cushions at 12m in length, some at 5m and others at 6m in width. As these cushions were particularly large in width, safety cables were added to mitigate any potential ponding issues in the unusual event of deflation.

Being above an aquatic environment, special design consideration was made to ensure that all fixings were non corrosive.

The end result is a environment which conveys light and space, allowing swimmers to swim with a view of the sky!


Main Contractor – Willmot Dixon

Architect & Principal designer – HNW Architects Limited (Harding Neil and Watson)

Client Architect – Stride Treglown/LA Architects

Special thanks to LA architects for use of photos

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Architen Landrell, Station Road, Chepstow, NP16 5PF, UK


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