CDE Studio 21
The Pool Loop

Zero Carbon Aquatic Centre

Studio leader: Dr Toby Reed


Aquatic centres are notoriously heavy users of energy. Their extended operating hours, large heating loads and subsequent large energy costs are terrible for the environment and represent a significant drain on council finances. As public buildings with a recreation agenda there is also considerable pressure to provide open architecture with large areas of glass façade etc.

BRIEF: Students will design an aquatic centre in the St Kilda Triangle site as a prototype for experimentation in zero carbon form which can be tried later in other suburban areas around Melbourne. The program will include indoor and outdoor swimming; diving pool; café; gym; park and some rentable offices or shops. Other functions may be introduced to help create a zero-carbon energy loop.

Elisa Iturbe has analysed how modern architecture and all our current spatial types have been generated in response to the needs of the carbon paradigm which modern society is based on. Our cities and the buildings in them are formal and spatial expressions based on a myth of limitless energy. However, energy based on carbon and fossil fuels is limited. The spatial expression of carbon energy is carbon form, which relates closely to the development of modernism. Generally, figure/ground spatial types are pre-carbon form while the solid/void of modernism correlates to carbon form. We need to base our designs on new green energy and our forms and spaces should reflect this and be an index of green energy. The studio will experiment with the formal and spatial potential of architecture to generate a post carbon architecture.

The design of an aquatic centre
The design of a hybrid program zone to achive a zero carbon loop
The investigation into various possible zero carbon loops
Research into the space and and form of a post carbon architecture
Exploration of the morphology of the aquatic centre, including surface and space.
Exploration of architectural cultural issues of aquatic centres.

REFERENCES: Architecture And the Death of Carbon Modernity - Elisa Iturbe / Junkspace – Rem Koolhaas / The Politics of the Envelope – A Zaera-Polo / Image Building - Hal Foster / The Society of the Spectacle – Guy Debord / Frei Otto

Architecture Civic Technology 2020_summer