Ok – this has made me very happy! For a while mm and I have been threatening to go swimming. And each week something happens, until this week, where we set aside enough time in between a market trip and cooking dinner. So instead of the local pool, we made a “day of it” (well, an hour or two of it) and visited the Ian Thorpe aquatic centre. And we were impressed!
Firstly, the building is beautiful. A rolling wave roof, bright white floors and walls. You walk in feeling positive. The women on the front desk smile, and people seem really happy to be there. Lots of kids and their parents having a bit (actually a lot) of fun in the pool, dedicated lap swimmers hypnotically moving up and down lanes, Jesus – even a scuba class. Everything is nice and clean and new.
It was one of Harry Seidler’s last commissions I think. I just found out it was his second aquatic centre – his first was the pool for the Melbourne Games in 1956. I love how it is a public pool, yet feels sort of like a swanky gym. After doing some laps (not enough) we headed to a smaller pool with a bit of a spa area. “Worth the admission price alone”, we sighed (which is a mere $6). Then, we checked out the steam room and sauna. It just seems so cool that a public pool has these facilities. Snaps to the City of Sydney for not skimping on the added features.
So the next time that a swim is on the cards, I will not wriggle out of it, but look forward to it if we go back to the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre! It’s a great asset for the city and the local community.
My other “top pools” are (in no particular order)…
- Fanny Durack Pool in Petersham. Classic Aussie pool with coin operated BBQs for some snag action, and a classic tuck shop for a lemonade icey-pole on a hot day
- Bronte Pool – spent a good deal of time here in mid 90s swimming laps when I had a late start job. Just me and the old guys who sat like lizards on the rocks tanning.
- Wylie’s Baths – just because they are so good looking and relatively quiet even on a busy day
- Rocks Pools in Wollongong– where my Grandad used to race in the 30s, where I saw my first blue ringed octopus, where I still like to walk to when I visit my Mum. This place reminds me of my Dad’s side of the family and the stories my Grandad tells me about him growing up in Wollongong