QEII Recreation and Sports Centre
The design brief was to create a sustainable and public building that restores and grows participation in sport in the East and the wider Christchurch community – more people, more active, more often.
The site is known as Queen Elizabeth II Park (QEII) and was home to the QEII sport and recreation facility that was constructed for the 1974 Commonwealth Games. The facility closed in 2010 due to significant earthquake damage and was demolished.
The concept design places the QEIIRSC facility prominently in the centre of the park setting and opens the building entrance and cafe to the western aspect. This provides a clear and legible address to the building that is visible on approach and from the car parking to the West. Rooflights and a clearstorey window open to the south to maximise the natural daylighting of the pool hall. The coloured hydroslide on the North West corner provides a clear landmark and wayfinding gesture within the Park and signalises the facility from Travis Road.
The external facade of the building is conceived as a simple singular object within the park. The building footprint is rectilinear in form and this minimises the surface area of the building and provides a strong presence in the context of its green setting. A low ribbon of coloured glazing (2.8m high) provides controlled views out to the landscaped park setting while minimising the need for costly sun-shades and mitigating glare into the pool hall. The internal layout maximises operational efficiency by placing all the functional spaces on a single level. Reception and admin support, centrally located, provide a clear separation of wet and dry components and allow staff easy access to all corners of the facility.
Taiora QEII Recreation and Sport Centre has been busy in its first year of operation with 808,170 visitors to the facility (including pools, swimming lessons, group fitness classes and the fitness centre) between 1 June 2018 and 30 April 2019. The pools alone attracted 542,208 people in the same time-frame.
Council Customer and Programmes Manager Jacquie Hibbs says the centre has had a fantastic first year.
“This complex really has brought a wealth of excellent facilities to the eastern side of the city and it’s been incredibly popular with families who bring their kids along to play in the leisure and toddler pools and have fun on the hydroslide."