193 Travis Road, New Brighton
Architecture: Architecture HDT
Contractor: Apollo Projects
The new $38.6 million QEII centre replaces the former Commonwealth games venue that was significantly damaged and subsequently demolished.
The 5500-square-metre facility features a 130m long hydroslide, a 25x25m lap pool, a toddlers pool with adjoining splash pad, a lazy river, a learn-to-swim pool, a hydrotherapy pool, a spa, sauna and steam room. The hydroslide boasts New Zealand’s first Aquasphere, where riders enter a giant sphere and bank around the walls before dropping back into the high-speed twists and turns.
Among the engineering innovations present are the moveable pool floor and ground improvement works. The 25m 10-lane pool has a moveable floor, which can be raised and lowered to allow for deep-water activity at one end and shallower activities such as aqua fitness and swimming lessons at the other. As the area suffered major liquefaction in the earthquakes, the building footprint sits atop some two thousand rammed aggregate piers (RAP’s). The 600mm diameter RAP’s extend to a depth of 4m and serve to create a stiff soil crust that supports the foundations and reduces the susceptibility to liquefaction and differential settlement.