THE PLAYERS LOUNGE
Players Lounge is placed a few kilometres from London, in the affluent town of Billericay, right near the train station. The lack of indoor leisure activities in the area despite the high population density and the poor weather conditions has led to the creation of a space entirely dedicated to the game. On the first floor of a small building that already houses a busy gym, Stuart, Alex, and Kieran designed a space dedicated to the after-work, leisure and play.
The club is a step ahead of similar structures because of the high quality of the materials used.
Everything revolves around a Club House / Restaurant space equipped with a giant TV screen, a state-of-the-art sports bar with tables and lounge areas, suitable to organize business meetings, see football matches with friends or simply wait for one’s children during their activities. In fact, the offer includes Xbox stations, golf simulators and above all a five-a-side football field where in the morning the schools can carry out their activities. In the evening and night, it will host leagues and block bookings.
Phil Turner, councillor for Billericay West, said: “I absolutely encourage everything like this and I’m sure residents do too. The residents of Billericay and surrounding areas will be delighted. You will be able to work hard and socialise at the same time; it’s a great combination. It’s encouraging to see this much investment into our community.”
What we did
The field construction was a real challenge: being on the first floor of the building the access was very narrow and the components had to be custom made for the purpose. The low ceiling and the size of the field have required more detailed studies to deliver a playable field and a positive experience to the players.
To make the field spectacular despite the limits imposed by the height, it was decided to use transparent Plexiglas walls with a width of 1m for 2.8 of height and 12 mm thickness, optimal measures both for the resistance and for the manoeuvrability of each piece, each of which was necessarily carried by hand.
To reduce maintenance and to avoid that the space of the clubhouse could get dirty, a no-infill lawn of 32 mm thickness was installed with a 10 mm shock pad underneath. The goals are built inside the plexiglass boards; however, the playing area has white lines as well so that it will be possible to play both 5-a-side (with the walls) and futsal (with the lines).
As far as lighting is concerned, the low ceiling compelled us to install 15 x 200W LED spotlights. They were attached directly to the beams of the building roof, which, being perpendicular to the playing surface, allows peaks of 500 lux while maintaining good homogeneity.
To protect the light bodies and prevent the ball from leaving the playing field, we have allowed for a polyethene roof net.