University of Worcester Sports Arena

Worcester, Worcestershire


University of Worcester


Worcester, Worcestershire


£10 million

Guardian University Awards 2015

Winner, Buildings that Inspire

A reclaimed brownfield site was transformed into an arena with three basketball courts hosting international sporting events.

The challenge

We were appointed via competition, for a new arena located within the conservation area on a reclaimed brownfield, riverside site on Hylton Road, formerly occupied by a fruit and vegetable market.

Flexibility of the space was a key requirement, with the potential for occasional use of the facilities for other spectator events such as graduation ceremonies, concerts, conferences, and exhibitions. As the arena caters for major disability team sports, it was also important to create an inclusive space with all areas designed for independent wheelchair access.

Our approach

For a standout design, we incorporated a dramatic curved over sailing roof that is reminiscent of 19th century railway architecture. Gold coloured pre-patinated copper cladding on the Hylton Road elevation provides a high-quality entrance façade. Sustainability was a focus, and key features include an extensive photovoltaic array, reuse of rainwater for toilet flushing and use of natural lighting.

"The University Arena has both state-of-the-art facilities and an exceptional standard of universal accessibility."

Professor David Green, Vice Chancellor, University of Worcester

The results

The 12-court arena seats up to 1850 people. It is designed to provide for a full range of indoor sports, with special emphasis on international level basketball, whilst also providing a new home ground for the Worcester Wolves Basketball Club. Facilities include treatment and first aid rooms, teaching and coaching spaces, a café, media and hospitality suites and other support facilities. The arena achieved BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and won the Buildings that Inspire category in the Guardian University Awards 2015.