Balga Aquatic Centre is both an Aquatic complex and community facility for the surrounding area.  Comprising of a creche, community meeting facilities, cafe space, and public art components, it has become much more than a standard set out pools.  Donovan Payne set out from the beginning of the project with a focus on communicating with community stakeholders to add additional value to the project.  The brief developed to include several multi-functional spaces to suit a variety of the community’s needs, and the early input from the community was key in the development of the best possible Architectural result.


Another important element of the facilities was providing ample disabled access throughout the complex.  The leisure pool’s “zero beach”, and the 25 metre pool’s disability ramp are key design elements in every Donovan Payne design, as well as special “Family and Disabled” changing, showering, and toilet facilities.  In addition to these features, Donovan Payne also designed Balga a fully accessible hydrotherapy pool for exercise and program classes, as well as general relaxation.  Our hydrotherapy pool designs have been shown to add value to to Aquatic centres, increasing revenue potential and economic viability of the centre.


In addition to the strong emphasis on community and accessibility, Balga Aquatic Centre required environmentally sustainable principles to be incorporated at every point of the design.  Donovan Payne strongly believe that the best way to design environmentally sustainable buildings is to take a holistic approach, and incorporate the design from the outset of the project.  The result is a complex with excellent natural ventilation, natural day-lighting, and low internal solar radiation, effectively lowering the running costs of the complex as well as increasing the aesthetics and comfort of the space.


Emphasis on Public Art

One of the major focuses of the project was to integrate community art into the design to give the centre a distinct local identity. By engaging artists early on in the process, Donovan Payne was able to create a seamless dialogue between the art and the architecture.

Disabled Accessible

All Donovan Payne projects have a strong emphasis on equal access, and Balga is a fantastic example of this. Pools are ramp-accessible, with Donovan Payne’s signature ‘zero-beach’ designs in the leisure zones. This equal accessibility enhances community identity by making it a truly inclusive environment.


Balga Aquatic centre was designed with a strong emphasis on passive Environmentally Sustainable Design. Louvres block out harsh direct light, while still maintaining a high level of natural lighting throughout. The pool’s mechanical plants have been specially designed to provide strong energy efficiency and cost savings over the life of the building.


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