The Guildford Aquatic Centre, in northeast Surrey, shows how wood can be undisputedly modern, luminous and minimalistic. The centre is an addition to the Guildford Recreation Centre.
- The star feature is the white-stained roof, made from 29-metre-long wood trusses that conceal the mechanics of the building.
- The wood trusses are made from laminated strand lumber (LSL) and glue-laminated timber (glulam).
- The building has won several awards and is certified LEED Gold.
The interior of the building is breathtakingly white, with a series of 29-metre-long stained white wood trusses overhead. The blue of the 50-metre-long competitive lap pool is in stark relief against the white ceiling and walls.
A white ceiling with the character of wood
The exposed, white-stained ceiling trusses were made from prefabricated engineered wood products. The top and bottom chords of the trusses are made from glue-laminated timber (glulam), with laminated strand lumber (LSL) webbing and plywood decking. The trusses conceal pre-installed mechanical ducts, sprinklers, uplighting, and acoustic ceiling insulation. There are built-in catwalks to allow access. The trusses are stained and painted white but display a textured wood pattern, warming up the stark whiteness of this Zen-like aquatic centre. The prefabricated structure was erected in 12 days.