Rehabilitation and Fitness Centre in Newmarket to be named Peter O’Sullevan House

The design process was focused around are underpinned by two specific characteristics, firstly a building that complements its local surroundings and secondly a building that responds to its intended purpose. As designers we were keen for the building to be more than a ‘mock style’ equine stable development and wanted the building to have architectural flair, creating a building that is architecturally desirable whilst respecting what the building was all about – a place for rehabilitation and fitness. 

The design rationale behind Peter O’Sullevan House is influenced by the agricultural and equine surroundings found both on site and within the vicinity of the site.  The building forms have been composed in order to give the appearance of an agricultural building, carved and sculptured in order to give dramatic forms, roof overhangs and canopies.  As the building is approached and passed it reveals interesting spaces and compositions that give the building an additional dimension. 

The palate of materials to be used will harmonise the materials found within the site and the local surroundings and will provide a high quality appearance that complements the agricultural as well as domestic materials found locally.  The materials will mellow and mature in order to harmonise with the surroundings.

Elements of structural glulam timber framing, standing seam roofing and curtain wall glazing will give the building a contemporary edge whilst still respecting the purpose and function of the building.  The structural glulam frame is continued internally into the building, blending the transition from internal to external space. The ceilings are vaulted internally which provides for interesting internal spaces for resting, relaxing and recuperating.

The building’s facilities:  


The development includes a modest gymnasium.  The equipment within the gymnasium has been specifically selected to promote and enhance fitness, alongside this will be specialist machinery for rehabilitation exercise.  The external walls to the gymnasium will incorporate large areas of glazing in order to provide natural light and views into the external courtyards and exercise  spaces.  The ceilings within the gym will be high, to allow the space to be flexible and multipurpose.  The internal walls to the gym will be glazed in order to allow the space to be monitored at all times, as well as creating an attractive, interactive internal environment.


Hydrotherapy Pool

A state of the art hydrotherapy and exercise pool.  The pool will primarily provide a facility for hydrotherapy based rehabilitation but with the added benefit of providing resistance swimming to build fitness.  The pool will be semi submerged into the ground as to provide a comfortable working environment for the specialist physiotherapists working alongside the patient.   The pool area will incorporate a hoist to allow disabled access to the pool.


Treatment Rooms

Individual private treatment rooms for physiotherapy.  The rooms will incorporate treatment couches, hand wash and medical storage facilities, desk space for typing up case notes, and portable medical equipment.  The rooms will need privacy from both within and outside of the site.  The rooms will be naturally lit and naturally ventilated in order to enhance wellbeing.


Changing Rooms

High quality, separate sex, health club style changing and locker rooms.  Individual wheel chair accessible changing facilities will also be provided with direct access to the hydrotherapy pool.  Separate WC and changing area will be provided for use by the BRS students.


Reception – Foyer, Office and Meeting Rooms

The public entrance to the building will incorporate waiting areas, meeting rooms and a reception office.  The reception office will allow the buildings staff to monitor and control the site during the day time opening hours. Within the entrance foyer there will be a sitting and dining area.  This area will form the social core of the building; an area to relax; an area to meet friends and colleagues; an area to sit and catch up on the news or horseracing, and an area to dine, whether an in-patient, out-patient , or visitor to the centre. A separate BRS entrance is provided for direct access to the Gym and Simulator Room.


Function of the Building

The Centre will be a centre of excellence for sporting fitness and rehabilitation in the East of England.  The building will be open to jockeys (past and present), Injured Jockeys Fund beneficiaries, British Racing School students and the wider workforce of the racing industry.

Rehabilitation and physiotherapy treatment will be provided on both an inpatient or outpatient basis.

External Spaces

A variety of semi-private and private outdoor spaces have been incorporated into the development to provide areas for rest, relaxation, recuperation and socialising.

The areas will incorporate areas for exercise, areas of hard landscaping, sculpture and soft landscaping. 

Simulator Room

The simulator room will include five racing simulators including a video monitoring suite.


Administration offices for the IJF are to be provided  within the centre.  Nine desk spaces are to be provided within an open plan office with a further hot desk for ad-hoc usage.