A development application to build a $77 million state-of-the-art aquatic and leisure centre in the Mays Hill precinct of Parramatta Park has been lodged by the City of Parramatta Council.
Scheduled for completion in 2023, the proposed centre will replace the Parramatta Memorial Pool, which was demolished in 2019 to make way for Western Sydney Stadium.
Designed by Grimshaw Architects, Andrew Burges Architects and McGregor Coxall the centre will feature a 50-metre, 10-lane outdoor pool, indoor pools and a water playground, change rooms and bathrooms, multipurpose community rooms, spa and sauna facilities, a fitness centre, cafe and more than 200 parking spaces.
Chosen from a shortlist of four in an international competition in 2018, the aquatic centre's striking circular design—which works to minimise noise and reduce impact on nearby residents, and provides expansive sightlines for better supervision across the facility—was kept under wraps until last year due to a funding dispute between the council and the state government.
Council and the state government have now agreed to co-fund the project, situated in the Mays Hill Precinct of Parramatta Park, an 85-hectare expanse of parkland that includes the World Heritage-listed Old Government House and Domain.
City of Parramatta mayor Bob Dwyer said the heritage importance of the area was one of a number of factors that had been taken into account in the project's planning stages.
“Over the last few months, we have been working closely with our team of architects and key community stakeholders to ensure the facility will meet the needs of our growing population, while also taking into account the heritage restrictions of the site and staying on budget,” Dwyer said.
“The submission of the development application marks another key step forward for this much-anticipated project. It’s exciting to see it all coming together.”
Architect Andrew Burges said the design aims to integrate the project into Parramatta Park, while providing a unique and functional space to train, compete and play.
“We believe that blending it into the natural park setting will really broaden the appeal of the Parramatta aquatic and leisure centre and make it a popular and enjoyable experience for Parramatta’s diverse and growing community.”
Andrew Burges Architects and Grimshaw are also part of the collaboration behind the largest aquatic centre to be built in Sydney in nearly 20 years, the Green Square Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre, along with TCL Landscape Architects.