Located on the high cliffs of the Queen’s Promenade in Blackpool, featuring stunning views of the Irish Sea and run by the siblings Liz Brown and Nigel Seddon, together with a passionate team of staff Hotel Sheraton has now opened it’s newly refurbished £400,000 contemporary swimming pool –designed by Zub Architecture.
Hotel Sheraton has opened the pool with style, by recreating John Smiths Bitter commercial from 2002. The reveal party was attended by legendary BBC swimming commentator Hamilton Bland, Olympic diver Hugo Ordonez and World Record marathon swimmer Dr Julie Bradshaw MBE.
Blackpool born Dr Julie Bradshaw became the fastest British Junior to swim the English Channel at the age of 15! She went on to earn many of the world records and swimming titles, while also raising thousands of pounds for charities. Today she can add to her achievements a butterfly swim across the best swimming pool in Blackpool!
Zub-Architecture has been appointed to undertake an architectural feasibility study and technical drawings for the refurbishment of the existing swimming pool back in 2019.
The Seddon family who already owned the next-door Elgin, bought the hotel in 2015, immediately beginning the refurbishment of the rooms, followed by the food, dining and the entertainment areas and now the pool.
Guests of The Sheraton as well as the sister Elgin Hotel can take an advantage of the pool, seating areas and jacuzzi.
The works on site started in January 2020 only to be halted at the beginning of the first lockdown.
The refurbishment continued on and off for the next 20x months as the hotel closed and opened during lockdown. Brexit has also played it’s part in the development, delaying the project severely as the shortage of special listed equipment continued.
The existing pool accommodation was very small and in an urgent need of attention.
Lack of an insulation between the pool and the accommodation above caused overheating and condensation, causing many maintenance issues.
Given the limited space and all site specifics, the project has proven challenging in terms of the logistics and maintaining the back of house flow during the construction works.
The project started with a measured survey, recording all the existing information and creating a 3D model as well as series of plans and building cross section of the existing structures.
The pool has been designed to make the most of the space. We have rearranged most of the internal walls around the changing facilities and re-located the access door, while making a feature out of it. The pool now provides a great view and is the first thing you will see when living the function room.
Although the project was quite complex, the brief was fairly simple – the new space was supposed to be designed to feel light, elegant and contemporary – worthy of a premium hotel.
Originally the pool enclosure had a row of windows facing onto back alleyway – as the windows did not provide any interesting view the decision was made early on have those blocked off, which would not only simplify the maintenance regime, but also help to ensure a great atmosphere with controlled lighting, uninterrupted by the changing daylight and back-alley noise.
The ceiling over the pool has been designed to conceal LED lighting as well as the ventilation ducting and outlets. The fresh air is distributed around the ceiling void areas and brought down through the ceiling edge perimeter gap without the need for a many ceiling penetrations.
The pool ceiling which also happens to be the floor for the hotel room accommodation above has now been insulated with an innovative and eco-friendly Insulation Membrane FOAMGLAS®, a 100% product made from recycled vehicle windscreens.
This soffit upgrade will not only ensure that the accommodation above does not get overheated by the warm pool below but will also act as a vapour barrier - prevent any moisture penetrating through the building fabric.
Every swimming pool requires substantial heating and ventilation system – this would typically be clearly visible in form of an extensive system of galvanised steel ducting.
While this set up would be suitable for a typical leisure centre, a high-end swimming pool sometimes requires more suitable and discrete architectural solution.
In this case we’ve designed an independent suspended ceiling with 300mm margins at wall junctions as well as three recessed ceiling areas over the pool.
All ventilation ducting and outlets are located around the perimeter of the area as well as in the ceiling recesses, channelling the fresh air down, without exposing any of the mechanical fittings.
The ceiling recesses and margins also act as an architectural feature, by hosting the LED lighting strips, sending a glow down the perimeter walls.
Architectural lighting is often used in swimming pool design to create the relaxed atmosphere and we have designed many of those for the Sheraton.
When entering the pool the first architectural feature you will see is the series of vertical sails, designed with Porcelanosa tile Lexington Colonial, illuminated in vertical strips, aimed to visually lift the ceiling. This is beautifully counterbalanced by the delicate horizontal lines at each ends of the swimming pool.
We are very proud with this completed project. Hotel Sheraton together with it's sister Elgin have been our customers for a long time. In the New Year we will be commencing architectural designs for expansion of the Elgin.
Zub Architecture specialises in high end, bespoke architectural design, where eye for detail is a must - if you are considering similar commercial or residential project, please get in touch!