Helensburgh Leisure Centre & Waterfront Public Realm

A vibrant and contemporary public realm encompassing the new Leisure Centre design by DB3 Architecture, re-connecting the Waterfront to the Town Centre

Conceived as a natural extension to the recent CHORD public realm initiative, the design creates a new visual axis and connection between Colquhoun Square and the new building on the waterfront. The same natural stone material palette is subtly combined with areas of high-quality concrete paving, coloured asphalt and carefully integrated planting, to incorporate the building and the associated car parking within a strong public realm matrix, to reinforce the connection with the existing townscape and the waterfront.

The flood modelling requirements of the site provided the opportunity to create a new high-level promenade along part of the new axis, combined with informal seating and gathering opportunities with open views to the south and west across the water. This culminates at the main entrance of the building. A series of long, open steps and integrated pathways connect the new level down to the existing Pier and the main waterfront esplanade. A new waterfront route, wrapping around the east, south and west of the site, encompassing the new building, connects with this new promenade and the visual connection back to the town.

Limited planting areas have been carefully arranged with species to suit the prevailing coastal weather conditions and integrated into the overall design at key locations. The design incorporates a combination of native wildflower grass areas, laid as turf, with informal flowering shrubs, boulders, and multi-stem tree planting. The design assumes a level of rugged informality, where tree and plant growth will be sculpted by the wind as it establishes.


Helensburgh Leisure Centre, Helensburgh


Argyll and Bute Council



Project Period