MLC School Aquatic Centre

Burwood Sydney, 2002

MLC School Aquatic Centre

“’s a resource used by the whole community not just the children whose School funded it. If we’re really serious about environmental, social and financial sustainability, this is a model for community buildings in the future…”

The MLC School was established in 1886 and has grown in size and stature as one of Sydney’s most progressive girls’ day schools. A new transformation learning philosophy was implemented in the 1990's to radically change the educational approach. The school embarked on an ambitious program of commissioning high quality, building stock to match its commitment to educational ideals.  The new aquatic centre was planned as the first of these new facilities to replace an existing dilapidated outdoor 25 metre pool which was adjacent to a gymnasium. The design of the pool as a single body of water allows water polo and learn to swim simultaneously and separable via a boom as well as a 6 lane 50 metre swimming pool. The single body of water is compact, cost-effective and responsive to the gradient across the site. A diving area was provided at the deep end of the pool where the site contours fall away. A 60 metre long steel truss spanning the centre of the building allows a vast column-free space with a split level ceiling to encourage the flow of fresh air across the pool deck. The north facing long facade equipped with sectional overhead doors can be completely opened up to allow fresh air into the centre at low level while hot air is exhausted through electrically operate high-level windows in the southern façade. To complement this natural ventilation system, tempered air from a sub-grade concrete plant room, provides warm air curtains for the removal of condensation on the glazed facade in winter. The use of a diatomaceous earth filtration system provides premium quality water into the pool, free of the usual smell of chlorine.

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