Carlton Baths & Family Resource Centre Alterations & Extensions

248 Rathdowne Street Carlton

Client: City of Melbourne
Status: Complete 2016

Completed in Stages 2013 & 2016

Date of original open air baths: 1916

Later alterations: 1929, 1990

The Carlton Baths and Family Resource Centre is a popular local sporting and community facility located in Rathdowne Street Carlton. The original open air baths opened in 1916 with separate bathing days for men and women. Mixed bathing was introduced in 1929 when a new change pavilion was added facing Rathdowne Street. In 1990 major new buildings designed by this practice were added and the pool upgraded. The project won the Victorian Architecture Medal in 1991 among a number of other awards.

Some 23 years later the complex was in need of a number of improvements including ESD provisions, disability access, BCA compliance and cyclical maintenance. The facility has expanded from 2,350m2 to 3,300m2, and includes a health club, community rooms, change rooms, basketball stadium with gymnasium facilities, reception, administration, maternal, child health and playgroup rooms along with various ancillary spaces, a replacement 25m outdoor pool, a new children’s pool with water play equipment, pool plant and filtration systems, soft landscaping, concourses, seating and shade structures.

The Carlton Baths is a popular local pool catering for families, school and community groups as well as for casual recreation and lap swimming. The facility is managed by the YMCA who also conducts learn to swim lessons and other water safety programs.

“The building is at its best bathed in the morning and evening light. At such moments, the architecture is a ‘freestyle’; one imbued with a sense of purpose and conscious awareness of place. The Baths has an easy going relaxed quality… it is an inventive building…that maintains a sense of civic importance.”

 Philip Drew, Business Review Weekly 1991