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Sydney's urban beach complex, by Andrew Burges and Grimshaw, to be completed late 2020

By Tom Walker    28 Jul 2020
The complex will feature, among others, a 50m heated outdoor pool set within a larger, irregular shaped 'beach pool' / City of Sydney/Andrew Burges Architecture/Grimshaw/TCL

Construction work on Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre in Sydney, Australia, is expected to be completed in late 2020.

The City of Sydney, which owns the centre, said that the COVID-19 pandemic had caused delays to works and it now expects the facility to open by the end of the year.

When complete, Gunyama Park will be the biggest aquatic complex built in Sydney since the 2000 Olympic Games.

Created by Andrew Burges Architecture – alongside global design practice Grimshaw and landscape architects TCL – the design of the project has been inspired by Sydney’s ocean beaches.

The complex will feature a 50m heated outdoor pool set within a larger, irregular shaped 'beach pool', a 25m heated indoor pool, an indoor leisure pool and a heated hydrotherapy pool.

Other facilities will include a large health and fitness club with gym floor, group exercise studios and a covered outdoor yoga deck.

There will also be plenty of outdoor space to "relax and play in", including an outdoor gym, a playground and picnic facilities, a fitness training circuit and a 4,950sq m multipurpose sports field.

A public artwork called Bangala, designed by Aunty Julie Freeman (Eora/Yuin) with Jonathan Jones (Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi), will overlook the park.

A spokesperson for City of Sydney said: "While we are waiting on the delivery of items needed to complete the indoor pool area, work continues on the multipurpose sports field and the centre’s internal finishings.

"We have been undertaking some quiet tiling and finishing work at night to ensure we better enact social distancing measures on site and finish this much awaited community facility soon. We expect completion will now be late 2020."

The team of Andrew Burges, Grimshaw and TCL won an architectural competition to design the project in 2014, which saw 144 architects submit proposals for the centre.

“This isn't just for fitness fanatics, this is a place for all people to enjoy the centre in different ways – even if it’s simply reading the paper in the sun and enjoying the occasional dip,” said Andrew Burges.

A spokesperson for the project team said that the project will also have a focus on sustainability.

"We have designed an innovative energy co-generation system to heat and power the centre," they said.

"It will give us flexibility in managing energy consumption and help us reduce our carbon footprint. It will also make the centre significantly cheaper to run every year.

"A large array of solar panels on the roof of the centre will connect to the City’s local electricity network in the Green Infrastructure Centre in Joynton Avenue.

"This means surplus electricity will be used to power buildings in the neighbouring community and cultural precinct."

/ City of Sydney/Andrew Burges Architecture/Grimshaw/TCL
/ City of Sydney/Andrew Burges Architecture/Grimshaw/TCL
Andrew Burges Architecture  Grimshaw  landscape architects  TCL  design  Sydney 
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