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Design innovations in the spotlight at International Swimming Pool & Leisure Centre Conference

This conference provides an opportunity to share innovation and best practice, to raise the standard of building design and operation internationally, and to encourage participation from all
– Lee McLaughlin, FaulknerBrowns partner

The International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) has planned an “unprecedented sharing of expertise, insight and discussion” on the design, development and operation of leisure centres and swimming pools this week.

International architects, engineers, government officials and leisure centre operators will converge in Dublin from 9-10 February to discuss topics such as state of the art sports facility design, creating sustainability, future-proofing and encouraging inclusion.

Facilities used as case studies will include swimming pools, spas, fitness suites, sports halls and play areas.

Speakers at the event – named the International Swimming Pool & Leisure Centre Conference and themed ‘Innovation’ – will include Marie Sallois Dembreville, the director of the International Olympic Committee concentrating on sustainability and legacy planning, and Professor Peter Taylor, a leading expert on global sports economics.

They will discuss how strong design and operation of facilities can improve the life satisfaction, health and wellbeing of those who use them, which in turn has economic and social benefits such as reductions to health care costs and levels of crime.

Architects discussing design innovation in the field of leisure will include Populous senior advisor and sports architecture professor Geraint John and FaulknerBrowns specialist sports consultant Bill Stonor – a leading member of the International Union of Architects' (UIA) Sports & Leisure Working Programme Group, which promotes the universal development of sports and leisure facilities.

Lars Hjorth Baerentzen of LOA Fonden, Ernst Ulrich Tillmanns of 4a Architekten, Aidan Kavenagh of Fitzgerald Kavenagh Architects, Lee McLaughlin of FaulknerBrowns and Joaquin Pujol of Pujol Arquitectura will also be participating in seminar discussions.

“Swimming pools and leisure centres fulfil vital social and wellbeing functions in the heart of our communities," said McLaughlin. "This conference provides an opportunity to share innovation and best practice, to raise the standard of building design and operation internationally, and to encourage participation from all.”

Dr. Stefan Kannewischer, president of IAKS, added: “The swimming pool and leisure centre industry are facing important economic and ecological challenges. We will raise an international perspective on trends and innovations with top-level international speakers.”

IAKS is co-organising the conference, which will be held at Dublin City University’s Helix building, with the UIA and the Aura Holohan leisure consultancy group.

Recent examples of boundary-pushing pool and leisure centre design include Perkins and Will’s Meadowvale Community Centre and Library in Canada, which promotes inclusivity through barrier free design; Mikou Studio’s Parisian Piscine du Fort in France, which uses the principles of Feng Shui to create a sense of calm; and HCMA’s Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre in Surrey, Canada, which has picked up several awards for its design and engineering excellence.

The International Swimming Pool & Leisure Centre Conference

Topics on the agenda

• Innovative Design Solutions

• Sustainability

• Financing Models

• Social Return on Investment

• Energy Management & Maintenance

• New Technologies

• The Role of the Public Sector

• European Regulations

• Looking to the Future

• Management Models

• Social Inclusion via Sport & Leisure

• The Business case for Inclusion

International Swimming Pool & Leisure Centre Conference  Dublin  IAKS  architecture  design  leisure  pool design 
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FEATURE: Editor’s letter – Tearing down barriers, building understanding

The International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) has planned an “unprecedented sharing of expertise, insight and discussion” on the design, development and operation of leisure centres and swimming pools this week. International architects, engineers, government officials and leisure centre operators will converge in Dublin from 9-10 February to discuss topics such as state of the art sports facility design, creating sustainability, future-proofing and encouraging inclusion. Facilities used as
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HCMA's Grandview Heights is a recent example of award-winning leisure centre design / HCMA
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