John Gaines Park Swim Center
Austin, Texas

Architect: Stanley StudioAquatic Designer/Consultant: Modern Pools
Landscape Architect: Pharis Design
Builder: Fazzone Construction Co.
Civil Engineering: Bury
Structural Engineering: Steinman Luevano Structures
MEP Engineering: Bay & Associates
Roofing Consulting: Hollon + Cannon
Green Roof Consulting: LBJ Wildflower Center Ecosystem Design
Sustainability Consulting: Lee Gros Architect & Artisan
Photovoltaic System Designer: Lighthouse Solar

Casual meeting place

Built as part of a 3.6-acre park in an Austin-area housing development, this subtle beauty was designed to provide a laid-back feel that at once evokes public pools of old while appealing to multiple generations.

It includes a 2,800-square-foot bathhouse with showers and lockers; a pool with three to four swim lanes and free play area; a shaded wading pool with bubblers for toddlers; and tree-shaded lawns.

Developers chose a former airport site for the park, but designers wanted nature to play a key role. Custom-poured concrete and metalwork designed by the architect blend with masterful combinations and transitions of texture, with pops of saturated closer to punctuate calm atmosphere. The heavy use of blues was inspired by a nearby historic flight tower. Heavy use of plants, including vines in the shade trellis, the green roof, and trees throughout, provides a cool oasis.

The owners set high sustainability goals, and the team answered with features that blend softly into the environment. Solar arrays are meticulously arranged like open-work mosaics overhead to serve as shade structures. Planted roofs add a pop of green and reduce temperature fluctuations indoors, while rainwater cisterns provide irrigation. The facility received an Austin Energy Green Building 4-Star rating.


- Circulation systems/control systems/filtration/guard chairs/safety equipment/interactive waterfeatures/pool cleaner/pumps: Jandy Products
- Fencing: Deacero USA
- Floor covering: Kemiko Co.
- Photovoltaic system: Lumos Solar
- Playground equipment: Dynamo Playgrounds
- Seating/bleachers: Dusty Whipple Designs