Orion Lagoon, Springfield Town Centre


Recipient: Vee Design

Client: Ipswich City Council

Project team: 

  • JMAC (Landscape Contractor)
  • Commercial Aquatics Australia (Hydraulic Engineer)

Project address: 155 Southern Cross Circuit, Springfield Central QLD 4300

Orion Lagoon provides recreational opportunity for all ages and abilities, facilitated by the design of three distinctly different sections of pool. The 600mm deep sculpture pool is a large area, fed by a sculptural waterfall, providing a scenario where parents and carers can take their children to swim in a low risk environment, also doubling as the balance tank for the pool system shut down. The main pool includes a 1.5m deep lap area with a fully accessible beach entry and 500mm high articulated submerged terraces that circumnavigate pool edge, where beach access is not provided. The children’s wading pool is an elongated section of various water play experiences including playful ripples, steppers and squirting elements.

Supporting recreational opportunity available at the Orion Lagoon consists of BBQ areas of various sizes including a central 10 plate covered BBQ area; bespoke shelter picnic nodes; bright shade umbrellas; and three levels of turf terraces that provide seating opportunity with a 180-degree view of the pool. Elements such as strategic lighting to facilitate night time use; the establishment of a kiosk; accessible amenities; and enhanced connections to the Orion Shopping Centre further support the access and provision of play and recreation for all ages and abilities.

The Lagoon has always been a crucial part of the master planned vision for the extremely popular Springfield Town Centre Parkland. It was necessary for Orion Lagoon to seamlessly integrate with the existing dynamic and design language of the parkland, yet provide a play and recreational point of difference. A zero-depth splash-pad play area and dry play experiences were already provided in the delivery of Stage 1 of Springfield Town Centre. As a result, Orion Lagoon’s design outcomes provide alternative play and water experiences that allow dynamic play with water; full body submersion; a lap swimming experience; varying depths to challenge different abilities; and expansive views over a body of water.

Engagement on this project was driven by a vision that the lagoon would become a focal point for the community to meet and enjoy a relaxing day at Ipswich’s “beach”. It was important to meet the community’s expectation for this facility which involved a high element of negotiation and collaboration with all the stakeholders involved. One of the most important elements of this collaborative process was to build trust with all stakeholders. Over twenty internal and external parties were involved including the community, councilors, senior management, other Ipswich City Council Departments, developers, consultants, contractors and operators.

Orion Lagoon is one of the largest facilities of its kind in Australia. Maintenance regime, operational costs and ongoing water quality were all key considerations affecting the material selection and design outcomes seen throughout the facility. It has become an economic generator with an indicated 35% increase for local business sales; attributed to attracting corporate sponsorship, enabling free public admission and encouraging tourism. Locals now have a socially sustainable opportunity to swim and recreate without having to leave the relatively new community suburb of Springfield.