St Mark’s Sports Hall

A pared back and elegantly simple use of materials and approach to the design and detailing have enabled this project to be delivered with great quality at a competitive cost.

An elegant 1235m2 standalone structure built with EFA funding to meet an urgent need for a new Sports Hall. Developing themes identified within the School’s Masterplan, the building position, form and materials have been carefully considered to reinforce the existing school campus and greatly strengthen the current PE department and sport offer.

The pared-back design provides a reception, 600m2 hall, studio, changing rooms, office, spectator viewing and an outdoor covered entrance canopy and classroom. Passive ventilation is delivered via roof mounted wind catchers, PV panels provide power and integrated landscape proposal that includes bird and bat boxes and wildflower and herb planting offer greater biodiversity to the site. The project achieved BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating.

The new Sports Hall provides generous play spaces beside a spine of support facilities – an arrangement that can accommodate expansion if needed – within a massing appropriate to the local suburban context. An enlarged entrance canopy provides further social amenity, activating previously underused areas of the site.

Interiors set up a strong relationship with the outdoors, a connection identified as critical during the collaborative design process. Large internal windows offer views through and out, external brickwork lines the internal communal spaces and natural light pours in from all sides. Plywood, fair-faced blockwork and exposed steel complete the suite of rich but muted material finishes, offering a calm yet robust environment for learning and sport.

Useful Studio were instrumental in obtaining EFA funding for the sports hall at the outset and went on to act as lead consultant providing architecture, structure and strategic environmental design services with subconsultants for detailed building services and costing. We also served as client representative, project manager and contract administrator for the scheme from the early concept stage through to completion.

The building was completed in August 2014, under budget.


St Marks School, Hounslow




August 2014

Useful Studio have provided expert support with the design, planning, tendering and management of our project. Communication has been first class with a real attention to detail. I am very happy to recommend Useful Studio without reservation. They have been a pleasure to work with.

Mr Paul Enright, Headmaster, St Marks School

Team Credits: 

Architect: Useful Studio
Structural Engineer: Expedition Engineering
Mechanical, Electrical & Public Health Engineers: Thornton Reynolds
Cost Consultant: Appleyard & Trew
Contractor: Quinn

Image Credits: Useful Studio, Quinn and Jim Stephenson, Architectural Photography