Workspace designer, 360Degrees has served up an ace new look for the tennis centre at a leading UK university.
Impressively, the Loughborough University project was designed and implemented with championship-winning speed in just ten weeks.
The rebranded interior of the Dan Maskell Tennis Centre starts at reception and encompasses all public and private areas from court surfaces, viewing galleries and changing rooms to toilets, social areas and seminar rooms.
It’s a facility which has welcomed many professional tennis competitions and is set to host a round of the Aegon GB-Pro Series in November. So the new look had to appeal not only to university students and coaches, but also external users including tournament organisers, spectators and tennis players.
In keeping with the university’s vibrant branding, bold splashes of pink and purple have been used for wall graphics, furniture and fittings. Even the indoor court surfaces are pink and purple.
As a university renowned globally for its sporting credentials, it’s no surprise that Loughborough takes its facilities very seriously. But the tennis centre was outdated, with 1970s-style décor, a cold blue colour scheme and disabled facilities which were separate from the rest of the changing areas.
Using the artwork and guidelines provided by a specialist branding agency, 360Degrees created a design which has transformed the dull facility into a clean, characterful sporting space that appeals to all the different users.
Because the reception area creates the first impression for visitors, it was important the new brand of the building was clearly and immediately communicated through wall graphics and coloured fixtures and fittings, combined with feature lighting.
The most challenging part of the project was the tight deadline to finish the job before students returned from their summer break. The timeframe included fitting new lighting, changing and toilet equipment and furniture.
It was also an important part of the original brief to integrate the disabled changing facilities so that the main changing area is fully accessible for wheelchair tennis players.
Because a proposed structural change couldn’t go ahead, 360Degrees worked flexibly to adapt the design whilst the project was in progress.
Howard Barnes, Managing Director at 360Degrees explains: “To enhance the open plan effect, the original designs included removing a wall but when the build started, it became clear that the ceiling was not going to cope with that change. That meant at the last minute the design layout had to be altered to achieve the same sense of space, but to also accommodate the original wall, drainage and ventilation.
“Despite the scale of the challenge, the experienced operations team from 360Degrees delivered the project in time and on budget.”
Shaun Green, Project Manager at Loughborough University, believes that 360Degrees’ vision has transformed the venue.
“The centre was old-fashioned, dull and sterile. Now we have a bright, vibrant, multifunctional building, achieved inside a tight deadline and with a very high standard of finish.”
He adds: “Throughout the process, 360Degrees were very approachable and efficient, and from the feedback we have had, everyone using the centre is very pleased with the results.”