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    Call for architects to design new Green Square aquatic centre

    Lisa Rapley

    Architects and landscape architects are being invited to put their most creative design forward for the new sports recreation park and aquatic centre for the fast growing community of Green Square.

    The new competition opens on Monday, 3 March. Lord Mayor Clover Moore says it will provide a rare chance for architects to compete on an equal footing, whether they are just starting out or at the peak of their careers.

    “This is about getting the best designs possible and we urge architects from across the country to seize this opportunity to create wonderful places for local community members to swim, to play and to simply enjoy themselves.”

    Moore adds that City of Sydney projects are world renowned for design excellence, innovation and environmental sustainability and the city hopes architects will be inspired to work with them and the local community on the latest Green Square project.

    A similar competition was run for the Green Square Library and Plaza, which was won by a pair of emerging architects who produced a striking concept that thrilled the judges and will thrill the community when finished, she says.

    “The City puts a great deal of effort into getting good design in our streets and buildings, and we believe that open competitions like this one deliver the best result for the whole community.”

    Multi-award winning Prince Alfred Park Pool by Neeson Murcutt Architects with Sue Barnsley Design is one project championed by the City of Sydney. Image: City of Sydney

    As stage one of the competition will be anonymous, architects will get the same chance to convince judges of the merits of their concept for the sporting and recreation precinct.

    Winners of the library competition, Felicity Stewart and Matt Hollenstein, both in their 20’s, were selected from 167 entries from around the world. Their proposal was labelled as ‘brilliant’ by competition judge Glenn Murcutt.

    Both are now working full-time on the project which will form the hub of the new Green Square Town Centre, next to where the new indoor aquatic centre and adjacent sports park will be located.

    To entre the competition, architects will need to design the 1.6 hectare Gunyama Park at Zetland with facilities to meet the growing demand from the local community, including a synthetic multi-purpose playing field, children’s playground, outdoor exercise circuit and the Green Square Aquatic Centre.

    To be located on Joynton Ave, the acquatic centre will be opposite the former South Sydney Hospital, which is to be transformed into a creative community hub with facilities including artists’ studios, a community hall, childcare and healthcare facilities, affordable housing and a park.

    Green Square is expected to house nearly 50,000 people by 2030, with a workforce of more than 20,000. City of Sydney is spending $440 million on building new infrastructure including roads, parks, community and childcare facilities.

    Greg Holman, principal architect at Harry Seidler & Associates is a member on the jury for the design competition. He was in charge of the winning design and construction of the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre in Sydney. Image: City of Sydney

    Guidelines for the competition have been developed with help from the Australian Institute of Architects and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. A panel of architects, landscape architect and aquatic experts will provide a shortlist of the best design for the first stage of the competition.

    Stage two will consist of shortlisted architects having the chance to prepare more detailed designs over 10 weeks with a cost planner to assess all of these entries.

    The community and interest groups will be invited to comment with all stage one entries placed on public display. These comments will be put to the jury for consideration.

    The winning design will be announced late this year, with work to begin soon after.

    A five-member jury for the competition include:

    • Carey Lyon (chair) – director of Lyons, an award-winning architecture and urban design practice based in Melbourne; acknowledged leader in urban design, sustainability and the design of research/learning environments.
    • Professor Richard Johnson MBE AO, NSW – director of Johnson Pilton Walker, an award-winning architecture and urban design practice based in Sydney, Life Fellow of the AIA RAIA Gold Medallist.
    • Camilla Block, NSW – director of Durbach Block Jaggers, an award-winning architecture and urban design practice based in Sydney; acknowledged design leader for residential, commercial and civic projects
    • Professor Gini Lee, VIC – Elisabeth Murdock Chair of Landscape Architecture, University of Melbourne; registered landscape architect, member of City of Melbourne Parks & Gardens Advisory Committee.
    • Greg Holman, NSW Architect/Aquatic Buildability & Construction – principal architect at Harry Seidler & Associates, in charge of the winning design and construction oversight of the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre in Sydney.

    For more information and to register for the competition, visit the City of Sydney’s website, here.


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