Building on the success of the £28m regional sports centre which opened in August 2009, the new centre is a partnership between Aberdeen University, Sportscotland and Aberdeen City Council.
The Aquatics Centre was opened on 5 May 2014 to great acclaim, providing long-course training opportunities for elite swimmers who currently have no facilities north of Stirling and a community facility that encourages participation in water-based activities for all ages and abilities.
The Aquatics Centre includes a 10-lane 50m Olympic standard pool with a dividing boom and part-floating floor. In addition, there is a 25m x 16.5m pool with full Olympic diving facilities, the latest technology in water cushioning systems and an adjustable floor to enable a range of uses from competition to swimming lessons.
Seating is provided for 600 spectators as well as a full Timing/Video Analysis lab with a land conditioning area, a health Suite and a bridge connection to the Aberdeen Sports Village Sports Centre.
Prior to the opening, the Commonwealth Water Polo Championships 2014 were held in the Aquatics Centre from 5-12 April 2014. Eight nations competed, including seven men’s and five women’s teams. It was a homecoming for water polo, which originated in Scotland.
The event was supported by key stakeholders Aberdeen Sports Village, Aberdeen City Council, Scottish Swimming, British Swimming, Homecoming Scotland, Commonwealth Games Scotland and BP.
David Beattie, chief executive of Aberdeen Sports Village, noted that hosting the competition in the new Aquatics Centre will give a boost to the facility and particularly the sport of water polo in Aberdeen. He said: ‘Aberdeen Sports Village was delighted to host the Commonwealth Water Polo Championships at the new Aquatics Centre.
“We have worked closely with all our partners during each phase of the building process and securing high calibre competitions such as these go to highlight the capabilities of the Centre. We are confident that the Centre will prove to be a popular facility for the people of the North East of Scotland and we look forward to attracting many more international competitions.’
Mike Hall, a partner at FaulknerBrowns Architects, who specialises in designing leisure and sports facilities, led the design of the new aquatics centre. He said: “Working closely with the Aberdeen Sports Village client, we have developed an innovative approach to the design of the Olympic-sized pool and diving facilities. These have been separated to achieve operational flexibility and then used to express our strong architectural counterpoint between a simple rectilinear pool box and the tall conical diving tower.”