SOME might see this as a wooly-brained idea for closure-threatened Temple Cowley Pools.
But Oxford Brookes University architecture student Will Field has won a top award for his plan to replace the pools with a building made out of wool.
Areas of knitting can be dipped in resin and set into a chosen shape by placing them over a frame.
After being left to set, the 19-year-old said it could then be removed from the frame and left at the city site for all to enjoy.
Visitors could also knit themselves a stool to sit on at the site.
The unusual idea has now been recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
The site has been the centre of fierce debate between residents and owner Oxford City Council, which wants to close it and build housing on the site.
But residents have said the facility should remain open and registered it as an “asset of community value” in March.
They have until October 7 to put together a bid to buy the building from the authority, which has the final say.
Mr Field, below, said the “Centre for Procrasti-Knitting” could replace the Oxford leisure facility as a home for knitting fans.
He said: “You can never really sit for free anywhere these days, because there is always some kind of charge.
“But in this place people could come in and knit a ball of wool into a rectangle and make a stool for themselves.
“The idea is that people could come in and effectively knit their own seat. It is quite conceptual, but also good fun.”
Visitors to the centre could take their chairs home or ride a “circuit” around the centre on them on a pulley system. He has won RIBA’s Oxfordshire award this year as well as a £150 prize.
He added: “I’m only a first year, so I have at least two more years to go, possibly six more as an architecture student, so winning this prize is great encouragement.”
The judges of this year’s prize were Mark Shipton of Oxford Architects and Dan Wadsworth of Jessop and Cook Architects.
Save Temple Cowley Pools campaigner Nigel Gibson said the group was looking for ideas of what to do with the leisure centre.
He said: “We are focused on continuing the building’s use as a health and fitness centre, but we are open to any suggestions from the public.
“There are lots of great ideas at the moment and this is one we could certainly consider.”
The leisure centre is still open but is expected to close when the new Blackbird Leys pool complex is completed in December.
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