LEVENSHULME LEISURE CENTRE AND LIBRARY COMPLETED PRESS RELEASE
AHR has completed the new 2,438m2Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre in the heart of Levenshulme, Manchester. The £9 million centre provides visitors with an array of new facilities including a 220m2 library - the only one in the area, two swimming pools and a health and fitness suite. AHR designed the centre to cater specifically to the diverse community of Levenshulme and enable as many people as possible in the community to access the library and leisure services.
The leisure centre includes a 25m x 8.5m main pool and a 17m x 8m learner and private-user pool that can be separated from the main pool by a glazed partition allowing it to be used for specific needs such as women-only events for particular ethnic and religious groups. A twelve person sauna and steam rooms can be easily accessed from the changing rooms.
From the ground floor foyer a stair and lift provide access to the first floor facilities which include a 264m2 health and fitness suite, equipped with 60 stations, and an adjoining 100m2 studio that can hold community meetings and serve as a dance studio for 30 people.
The library is open for the same hours as the leisure centre, through the introduction of a joint reception and offers free access to wifi and 20 public PCs. It provides the local community with an adaptable facility that uses modular shelving to ensure flexibility in the space and enables the local authority to deliver a range of services, including children’s activities. There is a staff information point, study area, two self-service issue/return terminals and office and meeting facilities.
Dan Barnes, Regional Director at AHR, said: “Our aim was to design a facility that meets the specific needs of the local community and in turn encourages people who might not otherwise have used the leisure or library services to engage. The Arcadia Centre is proving extremely popular with local residents. We hope that it will prove to be a valuable community asset for years to come."
An important part ofthe design brief was that the centre is highly visible from the busy Stockport Road. AHR achieved this by locating the library at the front of the ground floor and the fitness suite on the first floor facing the main road, maintaining high visibility with extensive glazing A series of double height glass feature panels provide contrast to the neutral brickwork and glazing to further animate the façade and wrap into a covered recessed space, marking the entrance.
The building is primarily clad in traditional brickwork in keeping with the local context and references the predominant slate roofs across Levenshulme.