New South Wales

Sydney architect wins design competition for Green Square aquatic centre

SYDNEY'S largest aquatic centre since the 2000 Olympics will be built at Green Square after judges of a national competition unanimously picked a scheme that integrates the aquatic centre with a new park and sports field.

A concept inspired by beach pools at Bondi, Bronte, South Curl Curl and Malabar was selected ahead of 143 other entries as the winner of the City of Sydney's Green Square Gunyama Park and Aquatic Centre Design Competition. The winning design team was led by Andrew Burges Architects with Grimshaw and T.C.L.

With nearly 10,000 apartments due for completion over the next four years at Green Square, the new facility is part of a pipeline of infrastructure and community projects to serve the growing community.

At the centre of the aquatic centre is a 50-metre, heated outdoor pool set within a larger, irregular shaped 'beach pool'. Other features of the new aquatic centre include:

  • A 25-metre indoor 'program pool' where swimming lessons will be provided;
  • An indoor leisure pool with a range of interactive toys, including water spraying devices and tipping buckets;
  • A hydrotherapy pool;
  • A crèche with indoor and outdoor play areas;
  • A full-size outdoor synthetic multi-purpose sports playfield; and
  • A fully equipped gymnasium and outdoor training circuit.

The aquatic centre will be set in Gunyama Park, a new landscaped recreation area with extensive raised boardwalks, picnicking and adventure play areas and an all-weather sports field. Construction of the pool is scheduled to begin in January 2017 once major drainage works are completed by Sydney Water and the City of Sydney, with completion expected in 2019.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the winning design would transform Green Square, one of the country's biggest urban renewal areas located just four kilometres south of the city centre.

"Gunyama Park and the Green Square Aquatic Centre will become a wonderful place for people to exercise, relax, and to catch up with friends and family," the Lord Mayor said.

"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.

"This great new facility also has a gym, a long covered outdoor deck that will be perfect for activities like yoga, a café and crèche and great pools for all types of swimmers.

"Last year we ran a similar competition for the Green Square library and plaza that produced an equally stunning design which is now detailed in a development application that is being assessed before construction begins," Cr Moore said.

Andrew Burges said he was "overwhelmed and delighted" to win the competition after he and his team had visited many aquatic centres in their quest to design one that provided the pleasures associated with Sydney's beachside 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," he said.

More information about the Green Square Gunyama Park and Aquatic Centre Design Competition is available from the City of Sydney website at <http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/vision/major-developments/green-square/design-competition>.

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