SGP teamwork delivers sustainable design for community rugby club
When Studio Director Kanti Chhapi was approached by the property industry charity LandAid, for SGP’s support with creating a pro bono design to add new changing facilities to the Coventrians RFC’s clubhouse, he was delighted by the prospect of helping the Coventry club.
Says Kanti: “The Coventrians are a community sports club who needed to upgrade their facilities. I realised this was a great an opportunity for a small team from SGP’s Mentoring Group to take on an engaging design process from early concept through to design approval, and, ideally, onto project delivery. We took an open and creative approach in generating a variety of ideas to deliver the challenge of a ‘retro-fit’ design brief to a restricted budget.”
The Coventrians primarily needed to add changing rooms to their existing clubhouse, but with a view to potential future additions and creating a coherent exterior for the building as a whole. SGP’s team reviewed the existing layout and chose an option that would minimise the need for redesigning the floorplan, as well as allowing additional facilities to be added in stages, in line with the club’s needs and resources.
Continues Simon, Sustainability Lead for SGP: “Although Covid caused some problems with communication, we were ultimately able to visit the site in person in July 2021. It was clear that our design had to work for the club, especially their focus on inclusion and sustainability. Using repurposed shipping containers in the changing room design delivered on the need for circularity, as well as providing a solid base for a new roof-top bar!”
SGP’s design delivered against the club’s need to meet the Rugby Football Union’s design principles for changing rooms, particularly in ensuring key dimensions and suitable fixtures and fittings, permitting the club to bid for future grant funding for the project.
Concludes Kanti; “As soon as I spoke to LandAid and the club, it was clear their focus on encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion chimed completely with SGP’s own We Care, We Challenge, We Deliver mindset. It was also a great opportunity to bring together members from across SGP’s offices, who would perhaps not usually work together, to brainstorm options and present a design that would meet the immediate needs of the club and be a platform to move forward.”
The pro bono support provided by SPG has enabled the club to direct their valuable and limited funds towards the development of their players within this new space.
LandAid’s Pro Bono Programme matches the knowledge and professional services of organisations across the wider built environment industry, including architects, for charities and not-for-profit organisations in the UK.