It took a small army of architects from Donovan Payne Architects to fully redesign the site, inclusive of buildings, parking and site connections, all while preserving the surrounding established trees and landscape.
“Bold Park Aquatic is a unique site, surrounded on all sides by bush land reserve,” says architect and lead designer (for building form and sustainability) Andrew Volkman. “This was one of the major challenges as we needed to preserve as many trees as possible on site, while maximising the available facilities for the public.”
The sweeping curved roofs combat the abundance of foliage that is frequently dropped from the surrounding trees, while also acting as a heat barrier for the northern facade.
“A key feature of this project was the timber structure to match the surrounding bush land. We decided early on in the process to use glue-laminated timber, as it is a sustainably-sourced building material that you can guarantee is being replaced by new trees. All timber on the site is sustainably sourced,” says Andrew, who worked with architects Kim Donovan (lead designer for the pools and pool sustainability) and major design contributors Carl Payne and Scott Oswald.
Solar hot water farms on all four roofs of the aquatic centre heat the pools, and customised pool blankets help insulate and prevent evaporation. Andrew describes the addition of the ultra-violet sanitisation system and ultra-fine filtration as a major contributing factor to the reduction in water usage.
“On the building side, we focused heavily on reducing the energy needs of the building. High insulation and low solar heat gain goes without saying these days. In addition, the materials palette was chosen to reduce life-cycle costs by utilising FSC sustainably sourced timber products, and bolt and screw-fixing to allow for dismantling in the future,” he says.
A new 10 lane, 50m pool with ramp access and undercover leisure pool for children and adults (walking lanes), nature playground and barbeque facilities opens the centre to swimmers and non-swimmers alike. The addition of a cafe that is connected to the Whadjuk walking trail also draws in the wider Town of Cambridge community.
This project is an entry in the Australian Institute of Architects WA Architecture Awards.
Donovan Payne Architects
Photography: Emma Van Dordrecht – F22 Photography