Parramatta Aquatic Centre recognised at NSW Architecture awards

Parramatta Aquatic Centre recognised at NSW Architecture awards

Parramatta Aquatic Centre won the prestigious Sulman award for public architecture at last week’s Australian Institute of Architecture NSW Awards. The project, completed in 2023, also won in the Urban Design category. It’s McGregor Coxall’s third Sulman Medal, after The Sydney Modern: Art Gallery of NSW won the award in 2023 and Maitland Levee won in 2019.

Combining quality outdoor space with recreational amenity, The Parramatta Aquatic Centre (PAC) offers an immersive leisure experience located on the traditional lands of the Burramattagal, an inland group of the Dharug people.

Aerial view of Parramatta Aquatic Centre with a background of the Parramatta skyline.

PAC’s core concept was the notion of submerging the structure in the landscape. The new centre respects remnant vegetation in an innovative, low-profile design where built form is concealed within the landscape, not superimposed onto it. The surrounding park is minimally disrupted by locating the building footprint within the topography, retaining and celebrating the heritage landscaping and vistas.

Sustainable design interventions ensure that PAC operates in harmony with its environment, minimizing its carbon footprint and maximizing its long-term sustainability. Design maximizes the benefit of every drop of rain, adopting rain gardens to define key entry points while augmenting shaded spaces that extend cooling benefits beyond the sites bounds.

Design was led by Grimshaw, Andrew Burges Architects, and McGregor Coxall, who were announced as the winners of an international design excellence competition for the project in2018, with construction by Lipman.

A humble addition to the community, centred around the pleasures of swimming within a park setting, PAC celebrates the natural characteristics of UNESCO World Heritage Listed Parramatta Park.

“This year’s NSW Architecture Awards represent the very best, and excitedly focus on community, culture, reuse, and adaption,” says Adam Haddow, NSW chapter president and national president elect of the Australian Institute of Architects.

We congratulate all other winners and entrants of this year’s NSW Awards. See the full list at the newly designed Architecture, AU website.

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