Earlier this month, Heron Bros won the ‘Overall Award’ for the restoration of Templemore Baths, Belfast at the 2023 CEF Excellence Awards.
Opened in 1893, Templemore Baths is listed as Grade B+, giving it regional status in importance reflecting its architectural, cultural, social and historic merits. The restoration of the Baths forms part of Belfast City Council’s £105m Leisure Transformation Programme to improve the health and wellbeing of the city by delivering a quality service that meets the needs of its communities. A primary guiding principle of the Programme is to contribute to wider social, environmental and economic regeneration outcomes.
The proposal comprises the restoration and refurbishment of the existing listed building along with the construction of a contemporary extension clearly distinguishable from the existing historic structures. The existing pool facility is retained and heritage/interpretative spaces are created in the most significant parts of the building. The extension contains a new 25m competition pool, spectator gallery, wet and dry change, spa and gym. It respects the sensitivity of the historic buildings and streetscape so as to not damage, distort or obscure the significance of the original Baths.
Key to any successful restoration of an historic building is finding a compatible re‐use. At Templemore Baths, we had the benefit of continuing use as a public swimming pool and related health and leisure facilities to ensure a sustainable future for the building.