Andrew Burges

Sydney People
Andrew Burges

Aquatic centre designer

Andrew Burges led the team that won the design competition to build Sydney’s biggest aquatic centre since the Olympics.

His design will create a new kind of aquatic centre at Green Square: A place to relax and enjoy recreation as much as to swim.

Andrew has lived near Sydney’s beaches for 20 years. His love of Bondi, Bronte and Coogee’s ocean pools prompted him to design an aquatic centre featuring elements of these pools that make Sydneysiders love them.

“One of the things we’re very interested in is how we can bring to an aquatic centre some of the pleasures of swimming I’ve experienced in the coastal pools.

“We want to take a well-understood and much-loved landscape like the beach pools and see if there are qualities that might be transferable to an aquatic centre,” Andrew said.

Until he won the City’s design competition, Andrew’s architecture practice had been focused on designing private homes. He’s thrilled the City’s decision to run a national competition gave him a chance to build a major public project that will cost over $50 million.

He’s especially pleased to be doing it in Green Square, an area 4km south of the city centre which he loves for its “fascinating geography and history”.

“I’ve done a lot of teaching and one of my focuses has been on that area from Redfern to the airport,” he said.

His design features a 50m outdoor pool set within a larger, irregular shaped ‘beach pool’ – an idea he borrowed from Bronte Pool.

“Bronte Pool has a place between the lap zone and the freeform part where anyone can stand around in the water and talk. It gave us the idea of a freeform pool where people could just jump in and not have tension with the lap swimmers.

“At Bondi’s Icebergs you see people on a Saturday morning, lying in the sun on the bleachers, reading the paper in a nice environment and then jumping into the pool. That’s another idea where we picked up the coastal-pool analogy.”

Learn more about Green's Square future aquatic centre.

Last updated: Friday, 22 May 2015