The Playdrome at Clydebank, a town of 50,000 people just west of Glasgow, consists of three buildings, each having a different use and, coincidentally, a different structural form and concept.
Dry sports are catered for in the north building which contains a large, multipurpose sports. hall flanked by a bowls hall on one side and squash courts, health suite and changing facilities on the other.
Wet sports are in the pool hall to the south which contains a 25m competition pool, a 330m2 leisure pool and a separate teaching pool. A tyre ride and a waterslide serving the leisure pool are also accommodated within the pool hall.
In between the wet and dry halls is a three storey link building which contains the reception area, changing rooms for the wet sports, and the management suite. All major mechanical plant serving the dry sports is accommodated in the link building in a plant room on the second floor.
The pool hall
The pool hall is in the shape of a 45m square with truncated corners. It is a tension stayed structure with the roof mainly supported by external hangers from eight masts around the perimeter. All the steelwork was given a heavy duty duplex coating of galvanizing and paint in order to protect it against both the warm humid con-ditions inside and the north Euro-pean climate outside.
The tension stayed design was adopted in order to give the maxi-mum amount of free space within the building. Incidentally, the external support system also echoes the shape of the shipyard cranes which are part of the culture of this area and can still be seen on this section of the river Clyde.
The basic roof structure is very simple and consist of eight pairs of cellular principal rafters radiating out from a central tubular steel tower at one end and supported at the building perimeter by tubu-lar steel masts. Cellular beams are also used for secondary rafters and for purlins. The roof consists of a high performance cladding-system utilising aluminium decking with mineral wool insulation.
The cellular rafters are support-ed from above the roof at approx-imately one third and two thirds of their length by tubular steel hangers suspended from the perimeter masts. The hangers are formed from two parallel members and their loads are transmitted to massive concrete anchor blocks set in the ground. The perimeter masts are formed from thin circu-lar hollow section posts with cross members welded between them to provide the required strength and stiffness whilst maintaining a light visual appearance.
The roof cladding profile is stepped where the hangers penetrate the roof so that the hangers always intersect at a vertical plane. This device greatly simplifies the weatherproofing details at that point and visually reduces the apparent bulk of the large expanse of roof cladding.
A neoprene thermal break has been put into the hangers at their point of entry into the building in order to minimise the “cold bridg-ing” effect and to prevent condensation problems in the moisture laden atmosphere of the pool hall. A butyl rubber weatherproofing gasket is also incorporated in the hanger connection at the roof line, designed to accomodate the anticipated differential movement between hanger and cladding.
All visible connections between the main tubular members are made with purpose-made cast steel forked connectors joined with steel pins. The connectors were cast with a spigot and shoulder size to suite the internal and external diameters of the tube.
The connectors were butt-welded to the square cut tube end.
Cast steel was also used for the purpose made saddles used where the tubular hangers connect to, and change direction around the mast outriggers.
All the steel in the pool hall, as well as the exposed steelwork, was shot blasted and then hot dip galvanized to an average thickness of 140µm. This was followed by an etch primer and two coats of paint to a total dry film thickness of 100µm. Some components, too large for hot dip galvanizing were zinc metal sprayed and sealed.
Where metal spray coatings were used, intricate fabricated components such as forked connectors, which could not be effectively sprayed, were designed to bolt onto the main members and were hot dip galvanized. By specifying such a comprehensive duplex protection system Doyle and Partners have minimised the maintenance costs of the Playdrome for years to come. At the same time, the colour and vibrancy of the exterior paint scheme signals to all that there is now fun and pleasure in an area that was once heavily industrialised.
Images © Guthrie Photography
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