2018 Queensland Architecture Awards – Australian Institute of Architects (Queensland Chapter)

Griffith University Aquatic Centre awarded Building of the Year (Gold Coast region)

Conrad Gargett has been honoured with a 2018 Queensland Architecture Awards – Building of the Year (Gold Coast region) accolade for the design and delivery of the $16 million Griffith University Gold Coast campus aquatic centre and fitness facility. The project was strategically purpose-built as a venue for competition, training and recreation for elite athletes, group training squads, university staff and students, as well as a venue open to the wider community.

Positioned at the heart of Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus, the 1.2 hectare Aquatic Centre and Fitness Facility site delivers a premier venue responding to Griffith University’s masterplan vision. Conrad Gargett’s design leverages the pedestrianised vista of University Drive to enhance the arrival experience for both the academic and sporting facility users. It includes a rooftop native garden pavilion and landscaped entry to the sporting precinct site. The design approach promotes the university’s sporting identity through its engaging landscape and openly active environment. It encourages social learning, performance and interaction between students and patrons of the facility. The public terrace and open pavilion structure frames the poolside activity within and beyond to the athletic track and the mountains on the horizon. The design works with the natural topography of the site, with garden terraces and informal spectator seating cascading down from the street level to the 50 metre, FINA standard outdoor swimming pool. The 300m2 fitness facility overlooks the substantial open space of the pool deck utilised for poolside training activities which extends beneath a shaded undercroft. Client aspirations to entice and connect various user groups continues to be achieved.

Conrad Gargett achieved three additional accolades, namely Coorparoo Square (Urban Design, Brisbane regional commendation), Griffith University Aquatic Centre (Educational Architecture, Gold Coast regional commendation) and Lagavulin (Small Project Architecture, DDWM regional commendation). These shortlisted projects will progress to the 2018 State Architecture Awards to be held in June 2018.

Image credit: Christopher Frederick Jones