Architects: Suters Architects
Photography: Peter Bennetts
Location: Noble Park, Victoria, Australia
Suters has designed the Noble Park Aquatic Centre redevelopment project. This project represents the first major redevelopment of the Noble Park pool since it first opened more than 50 years ago.
As Noble Park is one of the most culturally diverse suburbs in Victoria, a key objective of the redevelopment was to provide a recreation destination where people from different backgrounds and ethnicities could meet to relax, get fit and socialise. The civic nature and boldness of the architecture creates the catalyst for this social interaction to happen, including strategically located congregational areas, cafe and multi-purpose rooms to appeal to a range of user groups. The aquatic components include a new 50m heated outdoor pool, indoor program pool, splash pads, aqua play equipments and the rejuvenated Noble Park water slide.
Suters Architects Clinton Wyner said that the bespoke mass concrete elements around the base of the building help to strengthen its association with the site.
The angular geometry and bold massing have been arranged to frame out selected areas of the internal program to enhance the community offer. The landscape also features strongly in the design and provides further opportunities for people to congregate and interact.
Adrian Seow, Suters’ Design Architect on the project, worked in collaboration with community artist Emma Anna to develop a strong concept with an original colour theme based on the unique reflection on Australian bathing culture.
A series of patterns and motifs were developed referencing wave forms and the interweaving lines of water as visual metaphors. The eight colours carefully selected for the colour palette include a range of blues representing water and the sky, greens representing grass, and yellow representing the sun – all natural elements are at play within the facility and applied across various facets and features of the building,
A graphic expression of stripes was also applied to reference iconic summer beach towels and umbrellas.
High quality materials, finishes and fittings were adopted throughout the facility to raise the profile of the building. The use of spotted gum timber, plywood panelling and warm toned ceramic floor tiles brings a softer human element to the spaces. The building form itself is complex, consisting of undulating roofs and fascias that carry inside the building to add impact to the entry and main activity spaces, as well as enhance the identity of the building. To achieve this detail a series of steel trusses were used.
The main building truss is 100m meters long and runs continuously from one end of the building to the other. The truss has been used as an architectural design element to connect all the spaces and bring the building together into a cohesive whole. This has been done by defining the truss using highlight windows at various locations along the length of the building. The truss is fully exposed and spans 22m unsupported in the indoor pool hall. The design using steel trusses help achieve much greater spans and reduce the number and frequency of steel columns, thereby creating open, more usable spaces.
The overall Noble Park Aquatic Centre redevelopment design is one that greater serves and reflects the diversity of the Greater Dandenong community.