The Nest

RIDBA Awards 2021 - Education & Leisure Award

The Nest at the Community Sports Foundation hub, Horsford, Norwich

The Nest took first place in the 'Education & Leisure' category at the bi-annual awards ceremony which took place on Thursday 30th September 2021 at the Macdonald Manchester Hotel, Manchester.

The awards ceremony was hosted by comedian and writer, Jo Caulfield.

The brand new, exciting facility aims to benefit a huge number of people locally by offering them a safe and nurturing space for visitors to undertake a number of interactive activities and programmes. Working in partnership with local and national organisations, The Nest is able to develop and deliver services in all of its departments; health, sport, football, disability, social inclusion, schools and education.

The facility provides a unique environment to get people active, to participate in sport whilst gaining valuable skills, employment, personnel progression and making a lifelong difference to people's lives.

The facilities block which incorporates 8 football changing rooms, male, female & disabled toilets, multi-use space acts as the spine to the building and serves the activity spaces either side. Glazing is used throughout the circulation space to provide either glimpses into the adjacent spaces or to bring light into space at high level in an aim to provide an open and transparent facility where all activities are connected. Where possible, corridors have been widened or completely omitted to provide an openly accessible building to all visitors.

The proposal was designed in line with the Civil Aviation Authority guidance. Above mean sea level heights based on OSGB coordinates were conditioned by Norwich Airport as part of the outline application. And from that, maximum heights for the building were determined. With the tallest building being the sports hall at 10m eaves. Special consideration was required when erecting the structure to ensure all plant on site complied with regulations.

The Nest includes a purpose-built sports building consisting of an entrance block, 3G viewing stand, sports hall, health & fitness gym, multi-use classrooms, cafe and changing facilities. The building was designed in collaboration with the Football Association (FA) to ensure all guidelines were achieved.

The football stand that runs down the entire length of the 3G pitch provides a sheltered viewing area for both visitors and players, whilst providing additional storage spaces for football goals allowing the 3G pitch to be divided into smaller pitches. There is also a glazed opening within the structure, providing views through from the external grass seating area.

Jackie Thornton of the Norwich Community Sports Foundation said: "The journey to get 'The Nest' to this point has been a long one, but to finally see the main building and new facilities come to life is a dream realised for our team. We are incredibly grateful to all those who have supported us, and we will be marking that support in a number of ways. We estimate that over 12,000 people a year will use 'The Nest' and it will become a home for many of our programmes, as well as being available to the wider community for use, helping to improve the health, wellbeing, and aspirations of people in Norfolk".

The RIDBA judges were very impressed with the offering to the local community.

 Images by Chaplin Farrant