Hampshire based PAD studio has just completed its first public building, an elegant tennis pavilion within the beautiful Southsea Seafront Conservation Area in Portsmouth. Located on the leisure grounds of Canoe Lake Park, against mature trees and green lawns, the structure stands out through its delicate presence and sleek lines.

The pavilion is composed of two distinct parts; a robust grey brick base that grounds the structure to its setting, and a lightweight upper level clad in glazing. The latter includes a spacious roof terrace, which is sheltered partially by the roof’s overhang. The outdoor areas offer commanding views of the park, ten existing grass courts, four new all-weather courts, as well as the common and the boating lake beyond.

Inside, the structure includes a café/bar on the first floor, a ground floor kitchen, changing facilities and a multi-purpose flexible space. This is cleverly designed with moveable walls that allow for different uses and configurations. The material and colour pallete inside reflect the exterior’s clean and modern aesthetic, featuring hardwearing materials, a tactile, in-situ cast concrete exposed roof, ash floors and plywood lining.

‘We are immensely proud of this building’, says PAD’s Wendy Perring. ‘It is the result of a committed and visionary client who afforded PAD studio complete freedom to engage in R&D and specialist collaborations with GreyMatter Concrete and our engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan, resulting in a refined material specification and built form.’

The Canoe Lake Pavilion launched to great acclaim, celebrated by both the local community and the architectural one,  winning two key awards; the RIBA South Award 2018 and the RIBA South West Client of the Year Award. And while the project was commissioned by Canoe Lake Leisure, ‘a small group of individuals who came together to safeguard the future of the Canoe Lake grass tennis courts following local council funding cuts’, explain the architects, the facility remains a fully-accessible public resource.