By Derek Mah   4 Sep 2021

The Changing Faces of Aquatic Centres

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Contemporary aquatic centres are more than just pools for lane swimming. They have transformed over time from a focus on cultivating sporting champions to a facility for all capacities and cultures offering leisure, fitness and most importantly, the essential ability to swim. As we continue to urbanise our living environments, they have become part of our key community infrastructure.

Urban communities are seeking welcoming spaces to gather and connect, and Aquatic Centres are a central part of the community infrastructure, adapting overtime to be highly flexible and programmable spaces allowing for maximum usage year-round and thus remaining relevant to the wider community. We now find ourselves seeking spaces that are more culturally and physically more inclusive than those of the past, we have adapted as a society and our community spaces must too. Access, at all touchpoints of our daily lives, should be dignified, not just compliant.

Aquatic centres are also becoming smart through the integration of new digital technologies. The patron may be sent an alert on their smart phone as to special deals in the café, or daily operating updates. This makes the patron’s experience more interactive and gives management new marketing opportunities. Gone are the days of a coin drop through the turnstiles.

Along with increased technology comes the requirement to ensure spaces are kept sustainable and energy efficient. Beyond the base level of compliance, we are taking the initiative to move to greener strategies such as higher insulation values, solar panels and BMS controlled natural ventilation to ensure long term sustainability.

NBRS has a specialised aquatics team which has demonstrated experience in the design and delivery of contemporary and innovative aquatic facilities. They are leading the way in the implementation of Aquatic Leisure Centres that perform for every member of the community.

Derek Mah

Associate, Community

“Architecture is making buildings for people that are functionally beautiful and beautifully functional.”