Cricket Club Sports Annex, Hong Kong Leisure Building Development, HK Architecture Project Photos
Cricket Club Sports Annex in Hong Kong
11 July 2022
Location: Hong Kong
Photos: Kevin Mak
Cricket Club Sports Annex, HK
The Hong Kong Cricket Club is sited in the green calm of the Wong Nai Chung Gap above the dense scrum of Hong Kong. Established in 1851, it is the oldest cricket club in Asia. The world class club, with a waitlist of around 7 years, caters to it’s 2300 members with facilities for both training and socialising. Just a few activities on offer include cricket, tennis, snooker, a gymnasium, swimming pool, and children’s play centre. You can wind down with a refreshment afterwards at one of the Club’s many food and beverage outlets.
Purcell first began working with the Hong Kong Cricket Club in 2013, where we drafted a masterplan for the development of the club site. As the timespan of implementation was over many years, the aim was to create a long-term view, with near-term developments made while considering the overall objectives.
With the club implementing the first phase of major reordering and structural layout changes, a series of subsequent interior enhancement projects were planned. The first of these was the sports annex building.
Why is this project interesting?
Working in the hospitality sector always presents a range of challenges, notably the interface with diverse stakeholders. A successful project outcome required the team to explore, enhance and maximize the potential of the existing building and the proposed facilities by working closely with these diverse stakeholders, from the Clubs senior management, to a project steering committee, down to individual convenors of the various sporting teams that used the space(s). Working so closely with individuals that are impacted by the proposals enabled us to continue to develop a good, productive working relationship with the Club, and strengthen our in-depth understanding to inform imaginative design responses.
The project was also interesting due to its eclectic mix of facilities and needing to seamlessly integrate them within a single area of the club. For example, a golf simulator next to a snooker room, a gym near a children’s playroom. This inclusive planning of the Clubs facilities, pairing young child, with semi-professional sports men and women, as well as social and recreational uses brought about additional challenges around safety, wayfinding and acoustics, to ensure the spaces could be equally enjoyed be all.
What was the brief?
Following the club’s implementation of the Masterplan Phase I, it has remained deeply committed to enhancing other facilities including those in the Sports Annex building.
The brief required exploring opportunities for space optimisation, improving the efficiency of the annex building plan, and modernising the interior materials, finishes and colour scheme. Spatially, the gym needed to be enlarged and connected to a multi-purpose space as a breakout space. Young members of the Club also needed a play area which could connect with an expanded café so that parents could relax and socialise in relative comfort whilst watching over their children in an adjacent area. Deemed surplus to requirements, the video library could be sacrificed to provide much needed space to accommodate golf simulation and snooker facilities.
What were the key challenges?
In much the same way that the masterplan resolved complex spatial relationships between the Clubs range of sporting and social spaces, the sports annex needed to unpick changes in the building plan since adding additional floor space was unfeasible.
As the Clubs membership grew, several adhoc alterations had been completed to keep up with member demands. With the annex building being expanded in 2008, after over a decade of operation, several specific challenges had emerged, including a floor plan that was now poorly utilised, and lacked connectivity between the various uses available in the building. In addition, the building services were aging and at their end of service life and were no longer performing to deliver the level of indoor comfort members required.
Aside the requirements to resolve the building plan, the most significant challenge was delivering the fitout in an occupied environment while reducing impact to club operations and its revenue generating facilities.
What were the solutions?
Space optimisation: Our design solution was to split the Sports Annex building along the main circulation route and reconfigure and liberate the plan to suit the current and future needs of the Club. On one side, the spaces prioritise the facilities for the Clubs junior members, and the other focused on the Clubs range of indoor sporting activities, such as the gym, snooker, table tennis, and golf. At the heart of the plan is a café which encourages socialising and impromptu connections between members. As part of an inclusive design response, we considered issues that various user groups faced, in order to liberate and free up the plan. This enabled a wide range of users to equally enjoy the new spaces.
The new finishes across the space are clean and modern with an emphasis on longevity and easy-maintenance. The prevailing use of natural materials and the colour palatte was a node to the green leafy surrounding landscape around the Club. Attention was paid to recent renovations to the main building, so the choice of materials intentionally avoided conflict between these spaces, focusing on achieving the same standard of fit out, and continuity between the design language across distinctly different facilities.
Building services: were a considerable part of the project as the system within the building installed in 2008, had come to the end of its service life. Since this time, there had also been updates to Building Energy Code (BEC). With other sporting facilities on the floor above having to remain in use, coupled with the fact that the building services installation linked across these floors as well as back to the main building, a strategy to minimise service downtime had to be carefully planned, to ensure members could continue to use other facilities in the building. The result was a fitting out sequence that maintained key access routes, Club member safety, and the early release of areas of the reimagined annex to minimise the impact on facility downtime.
What are the sustainability features?
Although the client did not adopt an environmental accreditation, a number of environmental proposals were incorporated into the scheme:
• Energy efficient equipment replacement
• Sensor managed lighting and solar control (blinds)
• Provision of water filtration system offering free water refills to members
• Material palette that maximised natural light and colour of light to counteract the flatness of artificial lighting. This was supported by the use of colours to add depth, refreshment and grounding.
• Use of organic and rounded forms to support psychological comfort
• Implementing a multi-sensory play space for the members’ children
How does the project meet the principles of inclusive design?
The revised planning for the sports annex focussed on a greater level of comfort and more generous space in between the facilities. This not only provided clearer circulation routes, it enhanced the mobility for members.
To create a universal, flexible design, large format doors are provided for ease of movement between spaces.
Inclusive design also addressed the pairing together of a diverse user group, from extremely young children, to teenagers, to semi-professional sportsmen and women, as well as social and recreational users of the club. Each of these users had their own specific requirements which needed engagement with each stakeholder.
Hong Kong Cricket Club Sports Annex in China – Building Information
Lead Consultant and Interior Designer: Purcell – https://www.purcelluk.com/
Completion date: 2021
Building Services Engineer: WSP Group
Structural Engineer: CCI Engineers
Photography: Kevin Mak
Hong Kong Cricket Club Sports Annex images / information received 110722
Location: Hong Kong, China, eastern Asia
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