Gunyama Aquatic Centre

Transformation of a charming typology

Project team:
Andrew Burns, Casey Bryant, Kate Fife, Jonathon Donnelly, Grace Wolstencroft

Architecture AND's shortlisted proposal for the City of Sydney’s $50M Green Square Aquatic Centre project reimagined the cherished urban element of the cricket fence to form a container for a new type of leisure facility. Traditionally, these fences separate spectator from participant. The proposal transformed this typology to create a continuous field of play where all are participants, lifting the ends of the fence to accommodate the primary structures. At low points, the structure has the intimacy of a fence, creating a unique scale relationship with the building.

The regularity of the landscape within the ring referenced the site history of market gardens, yielding a linear staggered grid of landscape.

Architecture AND congratulate the winning team of Andrew Burges Architects and Grimshaw and recognise the quality of the successful proposal.

Concept diagram.

A continuous fence encloses the aquatic centre, sporting field and playground.

The fence sweeps up to accommodate program - the playground and aquatic centre.

Entry to the building is via a dramatic rectilinear cut, presenting the visitor with an axial view of artist Brook Andrew’s Weejal Ngalan, a sculpture incorporating the play pool waterslide.

Weejal Njalan by Brook Andrew transforms the familiar notion of a waterslide.

The main frontage presents as a glowing lantern, the batten screen cloaking the interior and simplifying the form.