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Macquarie University Sports & Aquatic Centre
by Cox Richardson Architects



The project consists of stage 1 in the implementation of a Masterplan for the redevelopment and revitalization of the University's Sports Complex, including a 25m indoor program pool, 50m outdoor competition pool, Gymnasium, Program Rooms, and administration facilities. Central to the proposal is the desire to create a clear system of circulation – the proposal contains two axes. The main axis is given architectural form via an ‘anchoring' orange bladed wall present at the new entry to the Complex, the Foyer and throughout the length of the building. The minor axis lies perpendicular and extends through the existing facilities, the intersection point of the two axes being resolved via a central stair and lift servicing the entire complex. The proposal introduces the first of a series of green courtyards proposed in the Masterplan permitting solar penetration, green vistas and usable ‘external' and secured spaces. The principle elements of the Built Form are a Bladed Wall and indoor Pool Pavilion Roof. The bladed wall ‘anchors' the proposal to the topography functioning as a device to ‘articulate' the proposal from the adjacent existing buildings and give the Complex ‘presence' in the broader Campus context. The Pool Pavilion Roof is articulated, detailed and lit to achieve a ‘hovering plane' affect. The indoor pool pavilion is located to animate Gymnasium Road – a major pedestrian thoroughfare. Being a fully glazed volume, vistas from the street are possible into the pavilion and beyond to the 50m outdoor pool concourse. A new and generous entry is established for the complex with the

provision of café facilities which address both the street side entry exterior and the foyer. The outdoor pool concourse is such that the outdoor pool ‘sits’ comfortably in the surrounding topography and permits grassed embankments around the pool adding to the public amenity of the outdoor facility and engagement with the landscape amenity of the Campus. Central to the sustainability initiatives is the integration of the University Cogeneration plant to the pool water heating. Waste heat is reticulated from the University Central Plant (permitting the deletion of Library cooling towers) to the pool plant via insulated copper pipework over a distance of approximately 200m. This reduces the amount of heating required at the pool plant which is undertaken via gas-fired burners. The Cogeneration strategy reduces running costs and provides significant environmental benefits. The functional spaces throughout the proposal including the indoor pool hall, the program rooms, and the gymnasium operate under a mixed mode system. The pool hall has been designed to permit ease of mixed mode use under various climatic conditions. Rainwater is harvested off a significant portion of the roof surface and used for cistern flushing. Waterless urinals are also used. Passive considerations such as deep and substantial eaves to the pool pavilion, orientation and shading devices are also employed to enhance the environmental performance of the building. A significant passive initiative was the minimization of the quantum of ‘new build’ by the provision of physical linkages to reusable portions of the existing building.

Sydney, NSW
Cox Richardson Architects
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Cox Richardson Architects
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.Project Team
Structural consultant: ARUP
Civil consultant: ARUP
Electrical consultant: MPI Group
Mechanical consultant: MPI Group
Hydraulic consultant: Hyder
Landscape consultant: Context
Builder: BuildCorp
Quantity Surveyor: Rider Hunt
Pool Consultant: Geoff Nines Fong
Photographer: Brett Boardman
Photographer: Brett Boardman

Photographs by Brett Boardman & Brett Boardman, text by Cox Richardson Architects

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects