Beach-inspired pool design wins Green Square competition

By Alice Richard
Wednesday, 05 November, 2014

Andrew Burges Architects has been announced as the winner of a national competition to design the Green Square Gunyama Park & Aquatic Centre. The design beat 143 other entries with a concept inspired by Sydney’s beach pools.

The largest aquatic centre to be built since the 2000 Olympics, the aquatic centre will feature a 50 metre heated outdoor pool set within a larger, organic-shaped ‘beach pool’ that will allow both lap swimmers and leisure swimmers alike to utilise the space.

“This appears to be a pool about relaxing as well as providing for active swimming and recreation, and is a sensual reading of how people use swimming areas,” the jury’s report said of the Burges design.

“The jury believes that this scheme will become a very special and unique type of community experience for the residents of Green Square.”

The outdoor 50 metre pool.

The outdoor 50 metre pool combines a lap pool inside a leisure pool.

The new complex will include:

  • A 25 metre indoor ‘program pool’ for swimming lessons. This will be four times the size of the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre program pool, accommodating four times as many students.
  • An indoor leisure pool with a range of interactive toys, including water spraying devices and tipping buckets.
  • A hydrotherapy pool.
  • A creche with indoor and outdoor play areas.
  • A full-size outdoor synthetic multipurpose sports playing field.
  • A fully equipped gymnasium and outdoor training circuit.

“Andrew Burges and his team have come up with a beautifully conceived scheme that will appeal to everyone from kids looking for a place to play, to families enjoying a picnic, and swimmers improving their lap times,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

“This scheme shows once again how anonymous design competitions recommended by the Institute of Architects can produce the best results.”

The indoor 25 metre program pool.

The indoor 25 metre program pool.

Burges was “overwhelmed and delighted” to win the competition. He and his team visited numerous aquatic centres in order to design one that provided the pleasures of Sydney’s beach-side pools.

“We were very focussed on the idea of inclusion, not just for fitness fanatics, but for different types of people and the different ways they will enjoy the centre, even if it’s just reading the paper in the sun and having the occasional dunk in the water,” Burges said.

Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2017, with completion expected in 2019.

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