Unique domed leisure centre in Mildenhall listed as protected building

The Dome Leisure Centre, Mildenhall. Listing Review 2021.

The Dome Leisure Centre, Mildenhall. Listing Review 2021. - Credit: © Historic England

A sports centre in Mildenhall which was built in just one day will be "protected for future generations" after it was added to the National Heritage List by Historic England.

The Dome in Mildenhall was added to the list alongside 37 other historic places in the East of England.

The Dome Leisure Centre, Mildenhall. Listing Review 2021.

The unique construction method leads to interesting results - Credit: © Historic England

Built in 1977, The Dome was constructed using an innovative system designed by Italian architect Dante Bini. 

The Bini system involved inflating a giant balloon and covering it in concrete. 

The Dome Leisure Centre, Mildenhall. 

The Dome Leisure Centre, Mildenhall. - Credit: © Historic England

The 'balloon' then remained inflated for 60 hours, allowing the concrete to set before doors and windows were cut into the formed shape. 

Only three buildings were ever built in Britain using this system and The Dome is now one of just two which survive. It will now be protected as a Grade II listed building.

The Dome Leisure Centre, Mildenhall. Listing Review 2021.

The Dome Leisure Centre, Mildenhall. - Credit: © Historic England

Other structures in the region that made it onto historic England's list this year include a cast iron water pump dating from the turn of the 19th century in Colchester, and a traditional K6 Phone Box in Cambridge. 

Listing Review 2021K6 Telephone Kiosk, Grove Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1QQDesigned by Sir Gilbert Scott

Designed by Sir Gilbert Scott in 1935, the K6 a development of his former K2 design - Credit: Historic England, Stella Fitzgerald

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A stretch of mud walls in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, which are the only surviving mud structures in the county have also  

Tony Calladine, regional director for Historic England in the East of England, said: “The additional places protected this year show the diversity of the East of England’s shared heritage from historic mud walls to a 1970s sports hall.

Listing Review 2021. The Heath, Layer de la Haye, Colchester, CO2 0EE.Cast-iron water pump and sto

Listing Review 2021. The Heath, Layer de la Haye, Colchester, CO2 0EE. Cast-iron water pump and stone basin outside Heath Cottages. Parish water pump, c.1890. View from south - Credit: Historic England, Stella Fitzgerald

"Structures such as the Colchester cast iron water pump and the Essex milestone and milepost give a fascinating insight into our past. 

"These wonderful historic sites are now protected for future generations, and we encourage people to apply for listing, or to share their photos and videos of listed sites, through our website.”

Nigel Huddleston, Heritage Minister

Nigel Huddleston, Heritage Minister - Credit: DCMS

Heritage Minister, Nigel Huddleston, added: "Listing these significant historic sites means we can protect our valuable heritage for future generations to learn from and ensure they are on the map for local people and visitors to be proud of and enjoy.

"This year's entries on to the list span the length and breadth of the country and have something to inspire everyone." 

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