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WaterMarc, Melbourne, Australia
Thursday 15 Nov 2012
WaterMarc is a meeting place, a place to learn, a space to have fun and a space to push your boundaries and challenge yourself. Located in the north eastern suburbs of Melbourne and developed for the Banyule City Council the building achieves a level of amenity and finish not previously seen in the Aquatic and Leisure market in Australia.
The facility caters for every age group, from its roman bath inspired programme pool and spa, catering for rehabilitation and physiotherapy, to the `Tantrum Alley’ and Pipeline waterslides imported from Canada and interactive water play spaces.
Internal finishes at the entry create a more refined and commercial feel to the entry with a combination of charcoal tiles to the floor and full height feature wall tiling imported from Japan to the walls, strip lighting and floating panels give the entry a heightened sense of space and the ingress of natural light invites patrons to break out onto the new urban precinct, blurring the boundary between internal and external spaces.
This level of finish is continued in the upper level office and meeting spaces as well as the gymnasium and programme rooms. As you enter the aquatic spaces, finishes, by necessity, need to address the technical issues of public safety and hygiene. The use and accentuation of the mechanical fabric ductwork helps to delineate the spaces within the larger pool hall.
Colour and movement are achieved using splash deck finishes, playful furniture selection, feature walls selection to amenities, graphic feature walls, building identification, and way finding identification and signage and the feature colours of the adventure play equipment, concourse structures features and the waterslides. Natural light permeates the main pool hall with by means of south facing windows glazing offering vistas from the internal spaces to the external context of the building (OR framing the inside and showcasing the precinct without). Large diagonal skylights flood the space with diffused natural light. And as you move from space to space there is the ever present snapshot of the spectacular feature water slide.
The architecture and slide geometry informed the precinct branding approach and marks a departure away from typical branding strategies which separates WaterMarc apart from its contemporaries. The integration between Architecture and branding of the facility is testament to the collaborative working approach by the design team and has been very successfully adopted by the community.