“…building on the edge of the harbour was an opportunity to enhance our appreciation of this great public asset and to provide the best public swimming pool in Sydney, an icon that has become greatly loved by Sydneysiders...”
One of Sydney’s most iconic harbour edge sites, the Andrew “Boy” Charlton Pool was the subject of a national design competition launched by the City of Sydney in 1998. The competition was won by Lippmann Partnership from a field of 151 entries and is composed of a series of interlocking pavilions combined with a large flat pool deck. The long lean development sits above the ground and harbour producing minimal impact on the water and landscape. The facility has been regularly voted Sydney’s most popular swimming destinations by city residents and Sydney Morning Herald readers. The project involves civil/maritime engineering, traditional building construction as well as fine interior design finishes and detailing. It is a unique development as it sits half over land and half over the Harbour on a grid of steel piles and beams. The pre-cast concrete pool concourse complete with level deck swimming pools is surrounded by some 100 metres of frameless glass windbreak which offers an uninterrupted view of the large scale shipping movements to Garden Island across the Woolloomooloo Bay and beyond over Sydney Harbour. The swimming pools are one of the only filtered salt water pools in Sydney and, as such, are highly sought after by serious lap swimmers and recreational users. Custom designed reinforced concrete sand filtration beds are integrated below the pool concourse and swimming pools. They allow for salt water pumped from the harbour to be re-circulated, filtered and finally discharged back into the harbour. The entry and facilities building provides meeting rooms, cafe as well as change rooms, staff and service spaces below. The building relies solely on natural ventilation. Aluminium louvers provide shading at the entry and other required areas. The change rooms are completely open to the exterior with the louvers providing a privacy screen to prevent outsiders looking in. From inside, views over the harbour and rock garden create a serene ambience. A roof mounted photovoltaic array was recently added to reduce the building’s reliance on grid power.