A very early project RMP were commissioned to undertake was the redevelopment of Fremantle Aquatic Centre in WA.
The “Fremantle Docker” is a strong wind that comes from the Indian Ocean and blows cool air quite strongly into Fremantle virtually every afternoon. The Fremantle Pool and the beaches would empty when the wind blew, even in summer.
RMP proposed a two stage redevelopment, that included converting the existing chlorinated pool to salt water with salt made on site as a cost saver. This was in response to the community consultation that highlighted the fact that users preferred to swim in salt water.
The next step was to prevent the wind from destroying the experience at the pool and this was done by sourcing heavy duty “shade cloth” from NZ that was being used to protect soft crops from the strong winds. These were erected around the pool and were very effective in reducing the wind to almost nothing and protecting the water as well as providing shade under which patrons could sit on the grass around the pool.
To increase revenue to meet operating costs, RMP designed a Fitness Centre by reducing the size of the existing change rooms and creating a modest extension to the building.
A new modern entry was designed and then the “splash pool” that had been left after the water slides had been removed was renovated, the water heated and a light-weight structure erected to provide an indoor pool for pre-school and beginner learn-to-swim.
The final stage some years later was to change the depth of the outdoor 25m x 25m pool to create a large Program Pool suitable for teaching swimming, large school groups and to design and build a new water play and leisure pool with interactive play equipment.
The whole area was covered with a lightweight polycarbonate structure that was low cost and allowed the natural light and good ventilation.
Additional toilets and showers were installed to service the significant patronage the pool has generated.
DPA the local architects worked with RMP throughout the project and created a highly functional, low cost and innovative solution.