A team of Andrew Burges Architects with Grimshaw and T.C.L. has been announced as the winner of an open design competition to create a leisure and fitness development in the Green Square district of Sydney. Advertised by WAN’s Business Information Service in March 2014, the competition looked to establish a multipurpose development where local residents could ‘meet and gather, play and exercise’.
The winning proposal includes: a 50m heated outdoor pool for lap swimming and play; a 25m program pool for swimming lessons; an indoor leisure pool with toys and water features for children; a hydrotherapy pool; a crèche with indoor and outdoor areas; a synthetic multipurpose sports playing field; a gym with outdoor training circuit; an outdoor playground and boardwalk; and plants and landscaping inspired by local heritage.
Going above and beyond the brief, the winning design also introduced an additional water element in the form of a wetland flora and fauna habitat. This landscape linkage incorporates banksia scrub, paperbark, coastal tea-tree, gymea lily and native broom, which in turn encourages wildlife such as water hens, ducks, spoonbills, and green and golden bell frogs.
The Green Square development is transforming a 278 hectare area of Sydney into a residential community for 48,000 people. There are also plans for offices for 22,000 people. The majority of Green Square residents will be living in high rise buildings - referred to as ‘vertical villages’ by the City of Sydney - and the Gunyama Park and Green Square Aquatics Centre will be their primary location for open-air social interaction and sporting activities.