Pool Hall Concourse - Arob Buchtal Area Pro Grid R12V4
Pool Edge System
Feature vaulted ceiling
Amenities with Agrob Buchtal Fresh Midnight Blue mix R11/C mosaic
Pool Hall Entry
Steam Room With Fresh Gradient Mosaic
Wet Lounge with Plural Medium Salmon 150x300m tile in stack bond
Feature Staircase with Nova Mid Grey Tile

Northcote Aquatic Recreation Centre


The City of Darebin in Melbourne recognized the need to redevelop its aging Northcote Aquatic Recreation Centre to serve the local community’s growing needs. Enlisting the world-leading sustainable design and architecture firm Warren and Mahoney, the redeveloped Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre (NARC) has established a new benchmark for aquatic facility design, functionality, and wellness.

Opened to the public in November 2023, the new NARC doubles the indoor pool space while introducing dedicated health, fitness, rehabilitation, and more areas. With a focus on accessibility, sustainability, and community connection, the redevelopment has breathed new life into this much-loved local institution.

The newly reopened Northcote Aquatic Recreation Centre (NARC) has raised the bar for aquatic and leisure facilities, offering a world-class experience for the local community. It features an extensive tile scheme from Klay Tiles that enhances the design and functionality of the facility. The design seamlessly integrates the building into its leafy suburban context while its internal spaces flood with natural light.

At the heart of the design is a stunning indoor-outdoor pool complex featuring a 50-metre outdoor pool and various indoor pools, including a leisure pool, a learn-to-swim pool, and a warm water pool. Agrob Buchtal’s Hytect tiles from Klay were selected for their durability, aesthetic, and antibacterial qualities.

Agrob Buchtal’s high-performing and sustainable Hytect tile collections played a crucial role in bringing Warren and Mahoney’s vision to execution. Agrob Buchtal’s Area Pro porcelain tiles were specified throughout high-traffic wet areas like the pool concourse. Featuring Hytect antibacterial surface technology for easy cleaning, Area Pro in color Sand Grid ensures aesthetics and optimal slip resistance with a rating of R12 and V4, respectively. The “V” rating on the tiles indicates the displacement space- the open space between the surface we walk on and the drainage level in profiled tiles. The displacement space significantly manages spills and materials on the tile surface, helping maintain safety by preventing slippery conditions. Grid tiles usually pose a cleaning challenge due to their profile. But with Hytect, you get the best of both worlds—impressive slip resistance without compromising on ease of cleaning. It’s a game-changer.

In the expansive main pool hall, Agrob Buchtal’s elegant Valley collection in Pebble Grey creates a modern yet timeless backdrop. These large format tiles, measuring 75x75cm, lend themselves beautifully to the vaulted ceiling design. Transitioning from change rooms to poolside, small-scale Fresh Mosaic tiles 50x50mm in Midnight Blue complement the spatial flow. Offering an R11C rating, these mosaics maintain safety underfoot while reflecting light beautifully around the space.

Further tiles from the Nova collection are featured in the foyer and feature staircase, with Mid Grey selected to complement the architectural aesthetics.

Sustainability was a key priority for the NARC. It has achieved a world-leading 6 Star Green Star rating through initiatives like rainwater harvesting, solar panels, and a timber-framed structure. The tile choices from Klay also support this, with materials like Agrob Buchtal noted for their longevity and requiring less ongoing maintenance.

The NARC has revitalized aquatic facilities for the local community, catering to users of all ages and abilities. It serves both form and function at the highest level through considered design and the integration of high-quality wall and floor tiles. The facility sets a new benchmark for recreational centers nationwide.

Architect Warren and Mahoney
Project Type Aquatic Community Centre
Product Type Porcelain Tiles, Pool Mosaics
Products Used Area Pro , Valley , Plural , Chroma , Nova, Fresh , Stories

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