Stromlo Leisure: Canberra's' new world class home of gym, swim, fitness & fun!

by Louise Magee on September 03, 2020
The ACT Government commenced planning for an aquatic facility to serve the growing population of south west Canberra in 2010.
$33 Million was allocated by the ACT Government for the construction of the project in the 2016/17 budget.
Following an extensive public consultation during 2016 and 2017, The ACT Government responded to community needs by allocating an additional $3.6 Million to meet the costs of the new community surveyed preferences. The design and engineering Specs that went into developing this state of the art facility are summarised below:

In 2018 Kane ACT were awarded the $36 million design and construction of the Stromlo Leisure Centre project. 

Project plans included, 50m pool, 25m program pool, plant room, circulation system, splash park, café and gym 

Cox Architecture were appointed and involved in the development of the master planning for the Stromlo Forrest Park and the establishment of the location for the Stromlo Leisure Centre (SLC) 

Initially the site was designated lower down the site but was moved up to its current location to take full advantage of the spectacular views.    

Following 2003 Canberra Bushfires, land clearing exercises used the site to bulldoze and store burnt debris 


As a former bushfire debris site, engineers needed to drill down up to 10 meters to reach solid rock for a suitable foundation base 

Two heating units, with digital monitoring keep the Program Pool at a constant 31.5 degrees and the 50m Competition Pool steady at 27 degrees 

Four sand filtration units keep the pool in pristine condition every minute of the day 

Low level extraction points at base of seating stands, control odours and corrosion by sucking chloramines out and pumping fresh in at the top. 

Air circulation system in the gym, pool concourse, amenities, and café areas are electronically controlled to ensure efficiency, high quality with low maintenance, which can at anytime be upgraded as improvements in technology evolve 

Air temperature is set at 27deg, except for the seating area in the stands which is controlled at 24deg 


To ensure advantage of the best vista, the building design was embedded in the fabric of the mountain 

The roof deign was also pitched to capture the views and take advantage of natural light 

The front entrance design was based on two pods, with curved soft corners to fit in with the mountain  backdrop and enhance the visual advantage of the northern views over the valley 

The pool concourse is lined up with the Program pool to be the apex of the facility 

The circular shape of the splash park is to emphasize a meeting place, that is welcoming, and defines the smaller area from the larger pool arena. 

Darker Australian bushland colours are represented on the external colour scheme and front entrance ways.  

The colours used in the change rooms and on the splash park apparatus are reminiscent of the rich colours found within Canberra’s soils 

The exposed beams are a product from Austria, called Glulam, which add a positive environmentally sustainable, functional and aesthetic benefit to the facility 

Glulam is a sustainable forestry product which carries high load capacity, durable in corrosive indoor environments, which consist of heat, moisture and chemicals. They also add a fluidity and lightness to the area 

Air temperatures are managed by the white cloth duct system hanging from the roof, which ensure a 26 degree ambient in all areas except the seating near the main 50Mt pool which allows 24 degree air experience for spectators 

The dark ducts under the grandstand seating area suck away chlorine air emitted from the pools, and the large higher ducts pull in and distribute fresh and consistent air flow.