The regeneration of disused public space is an important process in developing new opportunities for social exchange, wellbeing and community engagement. Our design exists as a series of connected platforms reinforcing the site history and our connection to landscape. The inner city bock pattern is used to create large elevated parkland over a series of open and enclosed volumes below. The facilities address community wide need for recreational facilities suitable for all ages, genders, and physical abilities.
In recognition of the design briefs ‘Green’ vision, this proposal is conceived as one large multi-level parkland. The design employs leading sustainable techniques in green roof technology, which encourages rainwater harvesting, helps insulate the building’s interior, and promotes new flora and fauna habitats. Plot ratio of building to green open space is reduced to effectively zero which helps to promote the sites ecological sustainability. Our design philosophy aims to create a transparent and visually permeable form by blurring public and private functions from street and park front to create an open and welcoming facility. The community can enjoy the merits of the buildings function at all platform levels through expansive open views into the building from the parkland roof. Cracks and apertures in the platforms encourage view lines and reflection of internal function both within the centre and external to the centre. The organisational strategy places the aquatic facilities platform 5m above entry level promoting core aquatic function through transparent pool walls. This idea reinforces street level legibility and creates a dynamic animated display to the public realm. Back of house services, plant, infrastructure, loading and car parking is also on ground level eliminating the need for a basement level. By capping the current site and employing a ‘build-up’ strategy, the proposal effectively eliminates site issues of flooding and contamination. Pool serviceability and maintainability is very simple with elevated pool structure and plant utilizing a ‘flooded’ design for efficient operation. Internal pool spaces receive vast amounts of natural light while visitors to the park can watch events from terrace seating on the roof. The fitness programs and creche sit slightly lower than the main pools but also situated above ground to maximise the ‘roof-scape’ volume and opportunity for natural day light.
The design briefs ‘Connected’ vision is exploited through the programmatic organisation, functional permeability and physical form. The aquatic centre was designed with two main frontages, the city front and the park front. Both are different in character, yet open up to promote visitor, occupier and pedestrian movement. The city frontage is experienced from Joynton and Zetland Avenues, and park frontage from Gunyama Park and Rose Way. The park elevation presents itself as a segment of elevated parkland and the city elevation expresses itself as a civic facility promoting its multi use functions within a dense urban environment. The proposed building mirrors its surroundings to be a contextually sensitive addition to the Green Square precinct. The “Global” vision for Green Square offers both a physical and visual relief from future densification, whilst providing a sensitive and inspired series of public spaces.
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