We were engaged by the Central Highlands Regional Council to design the centre (part of a larger sports precinct redevelopment). However, our involvement went much further as we played a critical role in securing an essential $6.5m in additional Federal Government funding for the project.

The isolated location in Central Queensland, and the dry conditions of the site, meant that the project team needed to carry out extensive research into cost-effective solutions to combat these obstacles. Another major challenge was time. It was critical to have the new competition pool built before the existing (and old) pool stopped working.

Our solution was to use rammed earth sourced from a nearby location, reducing transport costs and embodied energy. A ‘courtyard’ system with rammed earth walls provides sun protection over the water features and amenities whilst screening back of house operations. A 60kw solar farm was installed along with three 270,000 litre rainwater tanks, providing environmentally sustainable utilities and reducing operating costs.

LocationBlackwater, Queensland / Ghungalu
ClientCentral Highlands Regional Council
Services ProvidedMaster planning
Community and stakeholder engagement
Grant/funding submission advice and support
Full architectural services
Date CompletedMarch 2017
Project Features50m competition pool – 10 lane
25m program pool – sheltered
Interactive play area (splash pad)
Solar farm and rainwater tanks
Awards2018 Queensland Architecture Awards:
• F.D.G Stanley Award for Public Architecture
• Award for Sustainable Architecture

2018 Central Queensland Regional Architecture Awards:
• J.W. Wilson Award for Building of the Year, Public Architecture
• Award for Sustainable Architecture

2017 Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEAQ) Excellence Awards:
• Winner, Projects over $10m

2017 Master Builders Awards:
• Winner, Queensland Project of the Year/Sporting Facility
PhotographyAngus Martin Photography

Blackwater now has an award-winning, world-class and environmentally sustainable aquatic centre that caters to all levels of ability, ages groups and interests.

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