artisans of public art


Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre History


Lidcombe / Sydney / Australia


Cumberland Council + NBRS Architecture + Cockram Construction Australia Pty Ltd


2016 - 2017


  • Public art design, production and project management for:
  • Glass dividing wall ‘History’ mural in foyer
  • Amenities blocks ceramic tiles panels x 4 locations
  • Tapered steel central tower vinyl wrap and decals
  • ‘Did You Know?’ series of Alupanels distributed around centre


  • Historical research
  • Community consultation
  • Design
  • Photo- and vector-illustration
  • Production of print-ready artwork
  • Printing and fabrication supplier sourcing and liaison
  • Installation co-ordination
  • Production of promotional collateral


The Auburn Swimming Centre - opened in 1959 - with its quality construction, striking Modernist appearance and attention to detail, aroused the interest of many an architect, designer and engineer. It appeared on the covers of architectural magazines, attracted feature stories in design publications and was described as a “playland for swimmers” and an “aquatic beauty queen”. Geometric design motifs and bright colours added to the carnival atmosphere.

When passing by on the train as kids, we fondly remember the Auburn Swimming Centre from its very earliest days as a quirky eye-catching pavillion of fun and colour, so it was a delight to be invited to be involved in this upgrade project.

Combining the illustrious historical narrative of the facility - from pre-colonial times through to the present day - with the spirit of original architect Mr Frank R Hines’ playful vision, a detailed ‘fluid history wall’ printed onto glass panels forms the partition in the foyer of the Centre. The panels are arranged in a concertina configuration, echoing the original ‘folded plate’ concrete roof motif.

Distilling historical research and comments from the community, a rich tapestry of activities and milestones are represented in a chronological order in the glass mural.

Further aquatic themes are featured in artwork baked onto tiles in the amenities blocks.

Outside, the original lighting tower is wrapped with imagery depicting the old diving tower that once was a major feature of the original Auburn Swimming Centre but has since been demolished.

A more detailed account of various key aspects of the Centre’s history is featured in a series of ‘Did You Know?’ information panels dotted around the facility.