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Green Square aquatic centre architects set ambitious sustainability target

Green Square aquatic centre architects set ambitious sustainability target
July 15, 2016

The architects designing the City of Sydney’s planned new aquatic centre at Green Square are aiming to achieve sector-leading sustainability targets for the facility.

Now known as Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre (GPARC), the facility will incorporate a 7,000 metre² aquatic and fitness centre with three pools and fitness facilities, and an adjacent 16,500 metre² park consisting of an artificial turf sports field, playground, skate areas, fitness stations, amenities buildings, BBQ areas and landscaping.

Andrew Burges Architects, in conjunction with Grimshaw Architects and Taylor Cullity Lethlean Landscape Architecture (TCL), is the firm heading the redevelopment of the former industrial site in the inner Sydney suburb of Zetland.

The designers are targeting an ambitious 5 star Design and As-built Green Star rating for the project and will call on a range of green initiatives, passive design, and waste and water management strategies to help get their goals.

In terms of power, the designers plan a combination of rooftop photovoltaic panels and natural gas fuel cogeneration system to produce the electricity for the centre and park operations, with the heat by-product of the cogeneration to also be used for tempering the pool water.

Rain gardens will be used to bio-filter collected water for re-use as irrigation and toilet flushing, while a number of earth berms made from excavated material will surround the aquatic and recreation centre to provide insulation and thermal mass to internal spaces.

One of the most striking elements of the project’s architecture, the aquatic centre’s timber and ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) roof, will also add to the building’s sustainability rating by reducing the building’s reliance on artificial lighting. The large timber beams will be sourced from certified, sustainably managed sources while the ETFE will feature 65% silver dot (fritted pattern) coverage to provide high-quality light to the pool hall, protected from ultraviolet light and glare.

The internal pool hall is characterised by a light and natural material palette with ambitious large span timber beams fixed to concrete walls, clad with perforated CFC panels with acoustic insulation behind. The roof is EFTE pillows spanning between the timber beams, creating a continuous rhythm of daylight and structure through the main internal pool hall.

The upper external façade of the aquatic and recreation centre building is proposed as CFC panels in a natural concrete finish. The design of the lower walls surrounding the pool concourse reinforces the coastal pool palette with the primary wall finish being whitewashed, textured rendered walls in combination with planted berm walls.

In spite of not having previously designed a commercial aquatic centre, Andrew Burges Architects won a City of Sydney architectural competition back in 2014 with a design inspired by Sydney beaches.

The dramatic design continues a City of Sydney tradition of innovative design of its aquatic and recreation centres, as exemplified by the city’s Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre and Cook+Phillip Park Aquatic and Fitness Centre.

While dramatic, both centres proved costly to build and are expensive and problematic to manage.

GPARC appears to be following that tradition, with its original $50 million budget (from 2013) for the facility having reportedly already grown to a current $90 million price tag.

GPARC is part of the Green Square redevelopment precinct which will have 10,000 new apartments within four years and is predicted to become the most densely populated area in Sydney by 2030.

The new masterplanned community has been marketed as the new exemplar of sustainable high density city living where apartments will be linked to recycled water, train routes, new shopping centres and entertainment facilities, as well as bike and walking routes and parks and gardens like the GPARC.

Images courtesy of the City of Sydney

1st July 2016 - LANDMARK SYDNEY AQUATIC CENTRE TO BENEFIT FROM LOW-CARBON ENERGY

21st April 2016 - BELGRAVIA LEISURE COMPLETES MANAGEMENT TAKEOVER OF CITY OF SYDNEY INDOOR AQUATIC CENTRES

13th April 2016 - REPORT SUGGESTS NEW TECHNOLOGIES COULD DELIVER SIGNIFICANT ENERGY SAVINGS FOR AQUATIC CENTRES

1st April 2016 - AQUATICS AND RECREATION VICTORIA RELEASES ENERGY BENCHMARKING STUDY FOR AQUATIC CENTRES

12th August 2015 - SYDNEY’S COSTLY AFFAIR WITH EXTRAVAGANT AQUATIC CENTRES

4th November 2014 - WINNING GREEN SQUARE AQUATIC CENTRE DESIGN BRINGS A BEACH TO CENTRAL SYDNEY

17th June 2014 - NEW AQUATIC CENTRE PUTS HEART INTO SOUTH SYDNEY’S GREEN SQUARE


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