RLS Denistone Aquatic Centre

An aquatic centre in Sydney features mass timber beams to create a large spanning roof over the pool.
Project Name
RLS Denistone Aquatic Centre by Harry Hamor & Trevor Hall
Case Study Type

47-63 Lovell Road
Eastwood NSW 2122

Photographer Details
Guy Wilkinson


The new aquatic centre replaces an outdoor pool in the school grounds with a new enclosed pool and training facilities to teach swimming and resuscitation.

-33.793368, 151.0968798


​​Vicbeam was approached by the builders, Decode Group, to manufacture and fabricate the structural glulam timbers.

The mass timber elements were designed as half portal frames, spanning over the indoor pool and extending out as a feature outside the centre. Vicbeam provided the timber columns, beams, and purlins- which are installed between each rafter beam.

The portals were coated in an exterior grade cutek oil, which allows them to become a defining exterior element running along the facade. Each of the glulam members were also H3 treated, which increases the durability to rot and fungal growth in both exterior weather and internal pool conditions. 

Each glulam member was prefabricated with drilled holes and slots to easily insert the internal steel plate connections. The connection plates were left expressed on the exterior columns, where the rafters span from inside to out. 

The structural timber elements used in the aquatic facility are as follows:

Glulam: GL17 Slash Pine H3

Rafters: 825x166mm GL17

Columns: 395x166mm GL17

Purlins: 330x95mm GL17

Coating: Cutek Goldtone




Condensation was a major design component to adhere to in the aquatic centre. A warm pool creates a vast amount of condensation, and so the internal materials need to be corrosion and rust resistant.  Timber was chosen for its stability within the environment.

Aesthetically it works brilliantly with the palette of brickwork and sheet metal, providing a contrasting warmth to the utilitarian materials. 

Inside, the rafters are also coated with the Cutek. This creates a rich honey colour more similar to hardwood than softwood pine.


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