Wiehag GmbH - Swimming pool & Teaching Area at City of London Freemen's School

Project Details


Project - Swimming pool & Teaching Area at City of London Freemen's School
Sector - 
Technology - CLT
Company - Wiehag GmbH


Project Overview



The Architects Hawkins Brown had to meet the challenging design brief of designing a large pool building that needed to be sensitively located and designed to minimise its impact on the school’s Grade II* listed landscape, as well as conceal the building from the school’s Grade II* listed Main House.

Hawkins Brown’s resulting design fulfills this brief by nestling into the landscape with a partially submerged lower ground floor. The deep columns of the all-timber construction and wrap-around glazing, which afford direct views from the water into the woodland, give the sense of swimming amongst the trees.

The design when first viewed appears simple but quickly the complexity becomes apparent – the offset ridge forms an interesting mixture of angles & shapes which perfectly suit the high tolerance engineered timber products Wiehag used to form this structure.

125m3 of Spruce Glulam forming 12 full portals and 9 half portal frames, each with a different offset ridge to create the striking building shape.

1,800m2 of Spruce CLT forming walls & roof, including CLT roof slabs over the steel frame to the event space (by others).

All timber was fully PEFC certified. 

The benches along the sides of the pool are also in CLT are help complete the neat lines of the internal structure.

Whilst Wiehag did not supply the steel structure over the event space they worked with the design team and steel fabricator to ensure all interfaces between the steel and the timber were taken care of, and Wiehags package included nearly 5 Tonnes of steel connectors which as well as being galvanised were C4 coated when exposed. 

All the exposed Glulam and CLT has been finished with a white wash coating which was carried out by others once the shell was watertight.

All timber was precut, drilled an machined in Wiehag’s high tech factory in Austria, and all metalwork factory fitted which enabled a fast, safe installation which minimised disruption to the school as well as producing little waste or dust.

Wiehags program for their works was 8 weeks design, 7 weeks production (incl shipping) & less than 3 weeks installation on site which was completed last Spring, with the pool opened Autumn 2017.

Wiehags package finished on time, RIDDOR and snag free, and on budget and to the delight of the client.


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