Waterslides at the upcoming Coventry waterpark project fit intricately into limited footprint of indoor waterpark situated alongside church spire built in 1200s
(lifePR) Building a waterpark near a historic site has undoubtedly happened in the past – perhaps numerous times. But building a waterpark within mere yards of an 800-year-old church tower and spire is undoubtedly a once-in-several-lifetimes event. The challenges of situating the new Coventry City Centre Leisure Park in Coventry, West Midlands, Central England, then, was one that required unusual respect and specialized considerations, and Polin Waterparks is honored to have been chosen as the waterslide supplier to this unique project.
FaulknerBrowns Architects fulfilled the requirements of the historic £36.7 million (US$41.26 million) undertaking. The firm has designed many innovative and award-winning buildings, including Derby Arena, a velodrome for the Pan Am games in Toronto, the canoeing and sailing centers for London’s Olympics in 2012 and an Olympic-standard aquatics center in Dubai. Other key contributors to the project include the main supplier and construction firm the Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd. (Stowe, Bucks, U.K.) and consultant Neuman Aqua Ltd (Ockley, Surrey, U.K.).
Set to open in late 2018 or early 2019, the project has been called a “game-changer” by architect Bilge Pakis, Design Manager of Polin Waterparks. Bilge Pakis says: “It is a game-changer in its distinctive design, required to fit the facility into a very tight footprint on a site where Franciscan monks originally constructed a cruciform-shaped church in the early 1200s. Over the years, the site’s space became smaller and smaller as history left its marks.” (King Henry VIII’s dissolution of monasteries in 1538 doomed the original building, leaving only the tower spire, In both cases, the construction of nearby businesses slowly squeezed the borders of the only surviving edifice until the site’s former occupant – an office building – was erected in the 1970s.)
Colin Roddy, Project Director of Buckingham Group Contracting, says that working on the project is a challenge his team is excited to tackle. “Yes, the limitations of the space create a very controlled environment in which to work,”he says. “But we’re experienced in understanding the intricacies of such challenges. It’s also very exciting to be part of creating a centerpiece for the city of Coventry.”
Meeting the public’s requests
Dramatic night lighting will emphasize the modern shape and provide a view inside via huge frameless windows. To accommodate all of the necessary elements that city leaders are requiring of their new council -owned facility, however, its designers have gotten even more creative. Specifically, the new facility promises to provide not only waterpark elements but also a 25-meter swimming pool, a gym, a climbing wall, squash courts, a dance studio, a day spa and administrative area. Providing such a wide range of amenities within a limited space meant going up – as in three stories up, stacking the building’s offerings into a multi-level structure.
Polin Waterparks Senior Architect Zeynep Canbaz says ‘‘The floorplan ultimately put the waterslides on the third floor, an especially unusual proposal. That meant Polin needed to specially adapt its rides to fit within the specific limitations of the building’s mostly round layout and its constricting ceiling height. “It wasn’t an easy design,” Canbaz says. “But it was incredibly fun to work on. It was challenging yet exciting to see the puzzle pieces of the slides match the required size needs and, finally, fit perfectly within the restrictions of the facility.”
Roger Currie, of Neuman Aqua, “The Coventry leisure park is such an exceptional structure. It’s beautiful, sophisticated and will have an incredibly positive impact on the city,” he says. “Working with Polin Waterparks to design within the footprint of the building has given us an even greater appreciation for this unique facility and the many offerings it brings to the local citizens.”
Accommodating six slides into such a tight space required extraordinarily delicate design skills. For example, the bowl of one ride – Polin’s Space Hole – sits smack in the middle of the building and exits riders into a plunge pool on the floor below. The other slides also exit on the second floor, and a spiral ramp helps guests navigate back to the third level.
Fitting within the building’s limitations
Polin Waterparks needed to incorporate the building’s unique considerations into its slide designs. This meant specially designing several of the waterslides, such as creating a Mini Tsunami and a Navigatour with three uphill sections – one with and two without waterjets. It also meant designing all of the slides except for the Space Hole to incorporate dry-out exits without pools. And it meant restricting the heights of all of the slides. At this facility, then, the Space Hole is 14.62 meters (48 feet) high, and the other five slides are 11.50 meters (37.72 feet) high.
The specific attractions Polin adapted for the Coventry City Centre waterpark include:
All of Polin’s slides at the project are manufactured using Light Resin Transfer Molding (L-RTM) technology. Polin pioneered this technique for waterslide attractions – a process that creates multiple advantages. Significantly, the technique creates slide components with a shiny, smooth finish on both the interior and exterior. The technique also allows for stronger yet lighter waterslides that are easier to install – a particularly important feature in facilities such as Coventry City Center where weight is an obvious factor. A third advantage of the L-RTM technology is that the outer surface of each tube is particularly bright and smooth, reducing dirt’s ability to adhere to the tubes and making them easier to clean.
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About Polin Waterparks /Gebkim OSB
Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976 and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is a world leader in the design, production and installation of waterparks, waterslides &and water-play attractions. Polin has completed 2,500 waterpark projects in 100 countries around the world and is the biggest waterslide supplier in Eurasia. Working with a wide variety of clients has helped Polin reach several milestones including installing the first waterparks in many countries and many other award-winning rides at parks with world-renowned reputations.
More On Neuman Aqua
Neuman Aqua (NA) is an international design/build company that specialises in diverse aquatic entertainment facilities ranging from bespoke swimming pools through to large scale waterpark developments. NA combines 40 years of experience and resources from Neuman Group (NG) and Aqua Leisure International (ALI) to emerge as the premier group for waterpark and swimming pool design, design-build and project delivery.
More on Buckingham Group Contracting
Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd is an owner-managed, multi-disciplinary, principal and main contractor. Operating from our Head Office near Silverstone, plus regional offices in Manchester, Warrington, Sheffield, Birmingham and Bristol, we bring more than 60 years of experience to our Public and Private Sector Clients throughout the UK and Ireland.
Buckingham Group provides a range of stand-alone, or fully integrated services, in Building, Civil Engineering, Demolition, Land Remediation, Land Restoration, Sports & Leisure, and Rail.
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