Farnham Park - Baseball & Softball
Location: Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire
Architect: Ader Architects
Status: Feasibility Study 2018
Farnham Park in Buckinghamshire has been developed over the past 5 years as the premier Baseball & Softball facility in the UK, from recreational tournaments that attract hundreds of players most weekends during the summer to National Championships and International Showcases.
BSUK (BaseballSoftballUK) have since 2013 built 4 permanent fields: 2 dedicated softball diamonds, and 2 combination baseball & softball pitches.
Ader Architects has produced this feasibility study for BSUK, as a means of exploring ways to develop Farnham Park. The core aims of this development include the enhancement of the spectator experience; improvements to the facilities for players; and the addition of indoor training & playing facilities to allow for use year-round.
We are proposing two different buildings; the Indoor Sports Hall and the Grandstand Building.
Indoor Sports Hall
We have designed the indoor sports hall in line with guidance from Sport England with a view to allow the facilities to be serving not only the baseball and softball community, but also sports such as badminton, tennis, indoor football, basketball and netball.
The form is derived from a simple barnlike structure with the roof extended to cover changing room areas and a entrance hall. The void space above the entrance allows for a spectator seating area overlooking the hall.
The Grandstand Building
To allow for a grandstand to be built, the current garage and workshop building for maintenance will need to be re-housed. Our proposal is to take advantage of the existing level difference with the surface of the diamond and the level of the workshop building and house the garage at lower level and building the grandstand above, without setting the spectator areas too high for views of the pitches. This will also allow to see above the dugouts. At the upper level a new space for Home Plate cafe and bar will be created with views not only over the pitch but also over the northeastern playing fields.
At the lower level there will be space for changing facilities and a children's softplay area or a gym.
The Grandstand Building takes cues from the Indoors Sports Hall with its basic form derived from a simple barn with the roof shaped and cut to suit the long and thin triangular site.