The Parramatta Aquatic Centre (PAC) in Parramatta, NSW is located at Mays Hill, the traditional lands of the Burramattagal, an inland group of the Dharug people.

The pool reinvents the traditional aquatic centre typology, creating a new place where the quality of outdoor landscape and recreational space defines the experience.

Embracing the trend of sustainable architecture, the design team prioritised the use of natural timber in their solution. The aquatic centre features over 1000 linear metres of Blackbutt timber supplied by Mortlock Timber Group, which contributed to the goal of lowering the ecological and environmental impact at the $80m development.

Blackbutt timber defines the striking ring-shaped design that characterises the aquatic centre and pays homage to the curves found in modernist architecture. The integration of the structure into the land has been done sensitively, predominantly arranging it on a single level for easy access by the growing and diverse community of users.

The design team also amplified the site’s natural essence by incorporating 30,000sqm of the surrounding landscape, and planting 562 new native trees to enrich the existing urban forest during the design process.

Despite the fires in the Blackbutt forests and subsequent floods, Mortlock Timber was able to secure a substantial supply of timber and reserve it for the project. Our dedication to maintaining stock levels enabled the project to proceed smoothly with the significant timber requirements met efficiently and on time.

With multiple variations to the project necessitating the supply of more timber, Mortlock, which manufactures and coats the timber in-house at their WA facility, was able to fast-track additional quantities and machine them in a timely manner to avoid delays in construction.

This project needed to achieve a Group 1 rating. At Mortlock Timber we are certified applicators of Fireshield intumescent coating. With full control over the coating and drying process, we were able to deliver the timber to this site finished and ready for installation.

On-site, we addressed concrete splashing issues and ensured the coating was in pristine condition for handover to the client. This was a particular challenge as the Fireshield-coated timber was to be installed in high moisture areas. We supplied the project team with Cedar timber (a common alternative to Cedar is Malvec) in the same profile as the external installation to complete an amazing project.

Project details

Design Architect: Grimshaw and Andrew Burges Architects

Builder: Lipman Construction


  • TRENDPLANK 120x19 T&G Blackbutt Cladding; End-matched
  • TRENDPLANK 120x19 T&G Western Red Cedar Cladding; End-matched
  • Factory-coated in Cutek & Fireshield

Photography: Peter Bennetts