Five Australian architects and landscape architecture firms have been shortlisted by the City of Sydney for their designs of the new Green Square Aquatic Centre and Gunyama Park redevelopment.

Of the five projects, which include a moonlight cinema, an urban beach and artificial and natural wetlands, one will continue through the City’s design excellence competition process for further detailed planning.

The brief was released by the City of Sydney in 2013 as part of their $400 million overhaul of the Green Square precinct. It included:

The development of a 7,000sqm Aquatic Centre including:

  • an Indoor 51.5m swimming pool and leisure water area
  • 25m warm water program pool, hydrotherapy pool and rehab gym area
  • spectator seating, a café and crèche with outdoor space for centre users
  • gym and dry program/multipurpose rooms
  • wet/dry amenities and change rooms
  • underground parking

Redevelopment of 16,500sqm Gunyama Park including:

  • full-size synthetic multipurpose playfield
  • playground
  • public amenities
  • outdoor circuit training

The masterplan also includes a town centre, a library and plaza, a creativity hub as well as infrastructure upgrades and extensive landscaping.

The Finalists of the City of Sydney design excellence competition:

Andrew Burns Architects:

The building form is defined by a rounded shape exterior fence that is nestled among garden mounds with indigenous meadow planting and a light tree canopy to the perimeter.

The curved geometry of the development is manipulated in response to site conditions; large curves to the northern corners create generous gardens while a tighter curve in the south-east corner creates intimacy in the playground

The curvature of the plan is composed of a series of regular arcs and the roof is a single pitch skillion form in section.


  • Landscape mounds
  • Integrated curving exterior fence and building façade
  • Community garden / orchard
  • Glazed screen roof
  • Fig Tree promenade

See the full plan.


Cullinan Ivanov Partnership

The plan centres on the Foyer which is centrally located to access all key components from one hub and to achieve outlook to the park from every component of the design.

The landscape design reveres both the recent and ancient history of its location and surrounds.  Existing layers of concrete and asphalt will be peeled back and used to back fill gabion retaining walls in the park, while the original wetlands below will be encouraged to rejuvenate.

Board walks will also meander throughout the planned park amenities and wetlands while a greenwall will wrap the pool end into the café to continue the plant backdrop within the architectural lines


  • Translucent pool hall with shell high performance 'Uglass' modulated with opening panels for natural ventilation
  • Rooftop garden over reception
  • Brise Soleil - off-form concrete fine lined fluid shape structure to pool concourse
  • Variety of pools

See the full plan.


CHROFI & McGregor Coxall

The collaboration plan between Chrofi and McGregor Coxall returns the site to its wetland heritage by a segregated plan that consists of a natural focussed ground level and a below ground amenity level.  

Their focus is on what they call a celebration of an ‘urban void’, perhaps fittingly, considering their plan features up to 20,000sqm of level wetlands in the heart of the Green Square precinct.

On the ground level, synthetic turf sports facilities and skateboard areas are nestled amongst the rejuvenated wetlands and look down to a countersunk main pool area.


  • Rejuvenated wetlands emphasis
  • Below ground fitness and pool facilities.
  • Ground level skateboarding facilities
  • Ground level synthetic turf fields.

See the full plan.


Andrew Burges Architects

Andrew Burges Architects take inspiration from neighbouring Bronte Beach to inform their Gunyama Park and aquatic centre plan. A key feature of the plan is the industrial scale urban trellis and photovoltaic roof that covers the semi-enclosed ‘Gunyama Beach’.

The design brings “the pleasures of swimming outdoors” to a safe, health and fitness integrated centre. 

The aquatic centre amenities and adjacent outdoor facilities are linked via an extensive boardwalk system.


  • Wetland restoration
  • Rain garden
  • Photovoltaic roof
  • Rain harvesting system
  • Bio filtration emphasis

See the full plan.


TYP-TOP Studio (Andrew Daly and Kevin Liu)

The Typ-Top proposal imagines an integrated aquatic centre and park that intertwines swimming, running, training and spectating. Their plans feature a series of stacked and interleaved buildings and swimming pool which bear from the central podium.

Opening to the athletic field, the podium transforms into a series of generous steps and landscaped berm, providing spectator seating, or a relaxed lounging spot to watch a movie at night, projected onto the pool (doubles as an outdoor cinema)


  • Integrated multi-sport facilities
  • Stacked interleaved buildings
  • Brick colonnade and podium
  • Landscaping forecourt

See full plan.

All images: City of Sydney