Co.Op Studio’s designs for Port Macquarie Hastings Council’s new aquatic facility is poised to enhance the practice’s sport and recreation portfolio, with the plans submitted to the Northern Regional Planning Panel for approval.

The $66 million facility will be delivered in stages. When complete, it will boast a 50-metre outdoor pool, a 25-metre pool with transparent roof, a 20-metre indoor pool, gym, amenities, kiosk and 128 parking spots. The second stage includes a gym, splash pad and slide, plus 42 parking spaces.

The new complex is located in close proximity to Port Macquarie’s Memorial Pool complex. Working in consultation with design team partners, Co.Op has been involved in the preparation of the business case submitted to the panel. 

Co.Op Principal Steven Donaghey says the new facility will “provide a new focal point for sport and recreation in the city.”

“The design of the facility addresses Council’s Aquatics Facilities Strategy, and incorporates feedback received from a number of community consultation activities in order to optimise the facilities provision to the local and regional community,” he says.

“Given the benefits that the Port Macquarie geography and climate has to offer, it is anticipated that the new facility will capitalise on these natural assets to propose an innovative facility that is purpose designed for the community and location.”

The 50m pool and water play area will visually activate the site within the precinct, and include spectator seating, amenities and landscaped picnic areas. A simple roof form will unify the program and will protect from the elements. 

Internally the design approach is focused on creating a highly textured and warm material palette to balance the sporting facilities. The internal street which connects the various program elements provides both immediate and long distance views to the expansive landscape.

Funding has not yet been allocated for the facility, with Council to explore all potential avenues once given approval by the independent panel. Port Macquarie Hastings Council Group Manager Liveable Communities, Lucilla Marshall, says she is excited for the facility’s next phase of development.

“We are really thrilled to have reached this point in the planning for a new aquatic facility, which has been a number of years in the making,” she says. 

“What started with a Masterplan back in 2016, followed by the selection of a suitable site and some early design drawings between 2019 and 2022, has now progressed to the development of a fit-for-purpose aquatic precinct I think the whole community can be proud of.”

The DA is now on public exhibition until 23 April. For more information, visit


Images: Co.op Studio.