Ivanhoe Grammar Sports & Aquatic Centre

Education / Aquatic

Wellness Architecture is the principal of designing buildings and spaces with a focus on the impact they have on the well-being of the people that live, work or study in them.  It’s not a passing fad, but rather a foundational principle almost as old as Architecture itself. With the prevalence of mental health challenges, particularly amongst young people, the demand for Wellness Architecture in our spaces has only increased.  When Ivanhoe Boys Grammar School engaged Melbourne based Architecture firm Mclldowie Partners to design a sports and aquatic centre,  all were in agreeance, wellness principals would underpin all design decision making.

The International Well Building Standard  considers attributes of buildings that impact occupants healthy by measuring seven factors including air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. One of the challenges the Mclldowie Architecture team considered was the maintenance and cleaning regime of surfaces which impact on air quality. Biological pollutants such as bacteria will very quickly become rampant in the humid environment common to a pool area. One only needs to visit their local leisure centre to see examples of where inadequate cleaning methods and or freuqency is to the detriment of air quality and the health of the families that visit the pool areas. Mclldowie team, eager to uphold wellness principals selected Agrob Buchtal ceramic tiles because of the unique Hytect easy-clean antibacterial technology treatment offered in each tile.

The pool concourse and changerooms required a high slip-rated tile.  In this scenerio safety will typically come at the price of surface cleanability,  a smooth easy-to-clean tile is also the most slippery (for more information on slip ratings, you can download our Slip Rating Specification  Guide on the Technical resources section of the website).  The Hytect coating on the tiles means there was no compromise on cleanability, ensuring that the facility will maintain high air quality now and in 10 years’ time. You can find more information on Hytect here.

To satisfy the design requirements McIldowie Partners chose Agrob Buchtal’s Trias series in colour Calcite White available in an R10 and R11 rating and as large format and mosaic tiles.  Mosaic tiles were used extensively as novel wall finishes.  Within the change room spaces McIldowie Partners chose Agrob Buchtal Plural 100x100mm wall tiles in calming green and white tonings.

There is so much that can be said about this spectacular aquatic project. The space is nurturing, and serene, ideal for the student with the modern-day stresses of study pressures, social media, and pandemics. The critical question here is, does the space make students feel better when they inhabit it? Ivanhoe Grammar Sports and Aquatic Centre is not your average school aquatic centre, it feels more like a wellness retreat. It is quite evident when one walks through the light-filled centre, that the answer to this question is yes. Mclldowie Partners have delivered on the wellness brief and the material selection was a critical aspect of this design accomplishment.

At the time of writing Ivanhoe Grammar Sports & Aqautic Centre project has been shortlisted for the education category of the 2023 Victorian Architecture Awards.

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