Architecture, Urban Design
Jointly funded by the Australian Government through the National Stronger Regions Fund, the Queensland Government’s Building our Regions program, and the Mission Beach Aquatic and Recreation Club Inc., the facility includes a six-lane, 25m lap pool, a recreational billabong-style pool and a hydrotherapy pool.
The new Aquatic Centre located at MARCs Park includes a billabong pool which reflects the iconic natural swimming holes in the region. The main building frames the 25m x 6 lane lap pool offering terraced seating with good views towards the surrounding rainforest and mountain backdrop. The hydrotherapy pool and café are also housed in the main building along with amenities and administration including break out spaces, storage and plant rooms.
The design of the main buildings was based on achieving small-scaled village-style architecture under a rainforest canopy. The large amenities/ administration building was broken up into smaller modules which were then connected by a large articulated roof. Natural light can penetrate the buildings on various levels and pop-up roofs were introduced as an upper level canopy for filtered light and ventilation in non-air-conditioned areas.
CA Architects supported by Cox Architecture developed a masterplan to ensure the new facilities will enhance the existing arts and fitness centre, and support the existing girl guides. Additional parking is shown for the existing tennis courts and club, as well as a potential new bowls rink.
There is an opportunity to express the tropical character of Mission Beach and enhance existing vegetation with that which is clearly tropical in character. Currently vegetation is limited to the “edge” of the park as significant clearing has taken place, as well as damage from recent tropical cyclones.