Griffith University Gold Coast Aquatic Centre and Fitness Facility One Year Since Opening

Conrad Gargett, a leading design practice in the sport and leisure space, designed and delivered the $16 million Griffith University Gold Coast campus aquatic centre and fitness facility which will soon commemorate one year since opening in February 2017. Strategically purpose-built as a venue for competition, training and recreation for elite athletes, group training squads, university staff and students, as well as the wider community, the venue will be utilised for training by elite athletes competing in the upcoming Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Managing Director of Conrad Gargett, Lawrence Toaldo, stated, “We were pleased to bring our expertise in sport and leisure to design and deliver Griffith University’s innovative and highly-functional aquatic centre and fitness facility. We are committed to creating enduring places that help to enhance community health, well-being and social connectivity.”

Manager of the Griffith University Aquatic Centre Gold Coast campus, Steven Sherlock, stated, “Our aquatic centre and fitness facility has provided a centrepiece for the university and is a world-class facility for students, staff and members of the local community to access. We have had a number of student-related events, world-class athletes, local schools and teams utilise the facility.” Sherlock added, “We have an Olympic level high performance swim squad based out of the facility and recently hosted a training camp for national selection for the Australian synchronised swimming team. Elite swim teams from Australia, Canada, Ireland and England will be utilising this facility for training purposes both prior to and post the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.”

Strategically 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’s sport and leisure portfolio ranges from large scale sports fields, stadiums and entertainment precincts, through to boutique specialist training facilities, fitness centres and gymnasiums. We focus our designs on maximising amenity, performance, accessibility, safety, and user satisfaction, as we integrate state-of-the-art advances in technology, global standards in health and safety, holistic plans for placement of amenities, and innovations in crowd management and sound minimisation. We design for multi-functional use, increasing the flexibility and versatility of each design to maximise site opportunities, client and user expectations, and value of the investment. Together with our clients, we craft our sport and leisure designs to ensure the facilities support the requirements of today, as well as future aspirations.