LCE Architects were asked to prepare a preliminary generic design for “Youth Centres” to provide facilities for sport, leisure, learning and socialising for young people (around 16 to 36 years of age) in locations where no such provisions currently exist. This required a range of facilities that could be adapted for different sizes and responsive to the regional variations of the Libyan climate.
Initial research would suggest that there is a requirement for 27 centres – a mixture of small, medium and large – across 19 towns and cities. All centres would have an outdoor 25 x 17m swimming pool with a learner pool, a 640 m2 indoor sport hall and outside pitches for 11 a-side and 5 a-side football, tennis, and handball/volleyball/basket ball. Other facilities will vary in size related to location and include gyms (male and female), multi-purpose hall, prayer room, library and cafe.
An arrangement was found that can accommodate different sizes whist maintaining the same basic structure and circulation. This will enable economies of scale to be found should a number of these buildings be commissioned at the same time.
The plan has also been developed to create a street front, with facilities located there that can have a strong visual connection to the street, to make the building as interesting, inviting and transparent as possible. Courtyards behind, that provide an energy efficient building form which echoes the traditional Libyan architecture, create a more private environment for the uses of the centre as expected by Libyan society.