When fire gutted part of Parklands Country Club, it marked the beginning of a new chapter for the sports and leisure facility
Michael Modlin, managing director of Parklands Country Club in Newton Mearns is again wearing a smile because his club has been put back together again. His was a different picture last July when a fire swept through and destroyed the part of the club that contained the swimming pool, sauna and steam rooms. Perhaps the only good fortune was that the fire had been contained and members were still able to use the bulk of the amenities.
Most of us will have seen or heard of a business that has suffered or been destroyed by fire and I dare say most people will have a plan of action if their business is struck by disaster. Many people call Crgp Ltd where Colin Dair, a director , has over the years become a specialist in what to do when a fire such as at Parklands happens. He has waded through premises affected by flooding, scanned the grim aftermath of gas explosions, inspected the burnt-out shells of warehouses, night clubs, hotels, pubs and nursing homes. For him, the scenario at Parklands is his bread and butter.
After an initial estimate of the damage and its impact on business, Dair and his team were soon working with the owner and the loss adjusters, Cunningham Lindsey to implement an agreed plan of action.
In his team was Gemma Sommerville, an Architect with CRGP Ltd who has followed the resurrection of Parklands in the past year: “I was involved with the concept and proposals for the new build of the swimming pool, sauna, steam room, tropicarium (mix between sauna and steam), hydro pool and tepidarium, which is a special area with heated chaise-longues. We also brought on board a specialist team of interior designers,” she said.
CRGP Ltd were involved with the full proposals of the build from obtaining planning permission, through to building warrant and construction stage. “Because it was fire damage reinstatement with the business suffering on a daily basis it was important to get things moving as quickly as possible,” says Gemma. “We tried to speed up the whole tender process and we are happy to say the job was finished in good time.”
Being able to start from scratch is of course a pleasing circumstance for any architect, however, there was also a shifting of outlooks in this country and for Parklands that allowed the architects to change tactics. Different sexes have become more comfortable about sharing sauna and steam room facilities and there was now no need to create separate spaces for men and women. This gave the Architects approval to free up space so that a 20-metre swimming pool with lanes could be built to one side of the building while all of the supplementary amenities would occupy an adjacent area. Spa Developments have been involved in the interior design of many swimming pool areas and spas for leading hotel groups and they were brought in to advise on how best to fit out the space. “We were keen to create an atmosphere that would reflect a sophisticated private club,” says Stuart Black, a designer with the company. “The architects had come up with an idea for curtain walling that cantilevers over the swimming pool. We took this plan forward and made it into a centrepoint, the effect has excellent impact. We were keen to replicate the good quality materials and there is a lot of timber and glass mosaics in the whole design as well as coloured lighting.”
The footprint has remained the same as any expansion was constrained by the car park and it was necessary to retain the footpath around the building. But the architects have successfully found a way of reworking the space so that it all flows much better.
One problem they faced was sourcing identical materials that would make a perfect match on the outside. The existing stone cladding was not available and blending the old and the new in a seamless join was impossible, however, the introduction of timber to give a modern feel and tying it all together through a new entrance doorway has made the difference less abrupt.
At the same time, but separate from the main job, the owners decided to refurbish the bar restaurant. It had been three separate areas but it has been opened up into an L-shaped area and is bright, modern and more appealing with its expansive open-plan look.
It has taken almost one year and more than one million pounds to put Parklands together again, however, for Michael Modlin it has been worth waiting for.
“We got off to a slow start because there was a debate about whether the pool could be saved, however, we overcame that and the Tulloch construction team were able to get moving at the beginning of the year,” he said. “After that it was a case of steady to good progress being made and now we are open. The whole place looks absolutely magnificent and I’m over the moon with it. I’m just sorry that our members had to wait so long to get use of the full facilities.”