A NEW landmark building for the city of Sunderland has moved a step closer with the submission of planning permission for the Beacon of Light.
Foundation of Light has submitted plans for the Beacon, which will be located next to the Stadium of Light and Sunderland Aquatic Centre and provide a mix of both indoor and outdoor sporting facilities alongside zones for education, world of work and health and wellbeing.
The unique centre will be the first of its kind in the UK and include engaging and interactive zones in education; health and wellbeing; sport and play; and the world of work and will welcome thousands of children, young people and adults through its doors every week.
The Beacon of Light will be an exciting and inspiring education, training and sports facility and an important catalyst for the wider regeneration of this quarter of the city.
Our plans have been designed to complement and support plans to provide sustainable and vibrant learning, skills and health facilities to help achieve the City’s Economic Masterplan and Vision of an attractive and accessible Sunderland.
The Beacon will provide a safe, vibrant and feel-good environment where young people can meet socially; where they can learn and take part in courses to gain skills and qualifications; and where their fascination and love of football will start them on a journey that will help them make choices to improve their lives.
Sir Bob Murray CBE, Foundation of Light Chair of Trustees
The striking cube design was devised by leading architecture practice FaulknerBrowns, who have a worldwide reputation for leisure and sports design. Built over six storeys, the development will provide 11,140 sqm. of accommodation and occupy 4.75 Hectares. The Façade line of the building will sit 4.5m below the football stadium eaves with the stadium roof structure projecting above this.
The Beacon will be an inspirational mixed use space and facilities will include sports halls, football pitches, flexible informal learning spaces, a health and wellbeing zone as well as vocational training areas.
The Entrance level will include a range of facilities housed within a public street zone that runs through the building from the entrance to the riverside. The street is essentially the heart of the scheme and provides users with visual and physical connections to the key facilities.
The public education zone, located directly off the main public street space, includes six class rooms for up to 35 people each, accommodating up to 210 people at any one time, with an associated flexible learning zone.
The Sunderland Centre of Opportunity is located on Level 02, with direct visual links to the street zone space below the Alternative Provision School includes space for up to 80 children. Comprising of six flexible classroom spaces for 10 children each with its own associated group room.
The World of Work zone is also located on Level 02. The work zone units and associated flexible breakout areas provide bases for real-life businesses to provide vocational training for young people and those looking to return to work in a realistic working environment, and will also have direct visual and physical links to the street space and sports halls to make users feel part of the wider scheme.
The Health and Wellbeing Zone on Level 01 includes a drop in health facility with four associated confidential consultation rooms, a healthy café and self-help provision.
The Sports and Play Zone includes a sports hall and flexible hall to accommodate a range of sports including basketball, netball, futsal and badminton as well as associated changing facilities and a crèche.
The uniquely designed football barn is located on the top of the building and includes an artificial 3G Grass Pitch (60 x 48m), which can be split into four equal training areas, as a single FA youth standard 7 v 7 pitch (30 person) or as two FA youth standard 5 v 5 pitches (50 person). This level also includes changing facilities for users at this level as well as a small café facility for users/parents.
Externally simple large scale, soft landscaping, land forms have been included to produce visual interest whilst not detracting from the simple form and structure of the building and an avenue of trees have been included along the boundary.