Charles E Richardson Physical Education Centre
Ballarat Clarendon College
The fitness centre project arose from an evaluation of existing ageing facilities in the College, maintenance costs and the ability to conduct a strong general all school population fitness program. The decision to replace the leaking pool and to not replace the gymnasium building led to a feasibility for what new facilities could be incorporated into this constrained but prominent corner site of the Sturt Street Senior Campus.
In the interest of establishing a school fitness program that was not only of interest to students, staff and parents but rather excited a keenness within the school community to participate, a large variable water speed rowing tank for 16 users at a time was included in the facilities mix together with spin room, exercise and dance studios. The retention and upgrade the existing 1970s gymnasium invited a high volume approach to extending the building allowing the the facilities to be ‘stacked’ over 2 levels onto the restricted site.
The architectural approach to the complex of spaces was to draw on the aesthetic of the gymnasium to generate a new building which comfortably integrates with the gym and maintains the long term low scale building on the corner. The exercise pavilion previously built ion the site was integrated into the overall architectural composition.