Aquatic centre combines best of old and new*

Article image - Aquatic centre combines best of old and new* Ivanhoe Aquatic Centre

The Ivanhoe Aquatic centre in Melbourne’s north is showcasing the best in leisure centre design for local governments.

The site has re-opened after a $6 million redevelopment, which has transformed the centre and made it fully accessible to people with disabilities.

It was designed by Peddle Thorp Architects and constructed by ADCO, who also worked together on the $43 million WaterMarc project in Greensborough.

Design director Peter Brook said it was a case of reinventing a good building that had grown tired and needed renovation.

“Good architecture is often not about reinventing the wheel. It is about refreshing and redeveloping much loved or heritage buildings for a new era.”

The centre in Ivanhoe was built to environmentally sensitive design principles and had been designed around major trees on the site, including a 200-year-old, 22-metre high River Red Gum.

The centre, which previously attracted 360,000 visits per year, is set to attract even more visitors with new facilities including:

  • a gym, which has doubled in size to 500 square metres and includes state-of-the-art equipment
  • better access for all via a new lift, improved reception and foyer area, and easy swipe-in access for members
  • a café with outdoor seating
  • a new group exercise room and fitness programs
  • a skylight over the main pool, new spa and sauna, plus family and individual change rooms, toilets and showers
  • new birthday party and children’s program rooms.

The Mayor of Banyule, Cr Craig Langdon, said the centre had a long history.

The original outdoor 50-metre pool was developed as the training facility for the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. Thirty years ago, the indoor pool and fitness centre was constructed.  

“While the centre was much loved and used, the amenities left a lot to be desired. With this latest redevelopment, the new and updated facilities have brought the centre into line with modern leisure centres.

“Apart from the new gym, the swimming pool, where families have learnt to swim through the generations, is lighter and brighter thanks to the new skylight in the roof. The new spa and sauna is also being enjoyed, particularly with wintery weather.

“This redevelopment ensures that Ivanhoe Aquatic can meet the changing needs of the community, while remaining a much-used and loved local aquatic and fitness centre.”

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*Copy supplied by Peddle Thorp