Project Details

The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity in Australia
Project Name: The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity in Australia
Client: Australian Institute of Architects
Date: April 2015 – March 2016


The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity in Australia, is the companion publication for the Australia’s highly anticipated contribution to 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, curated by Aileen Sage Architects (Isabelle Toland and Amelia Holliday) with Michelle Tabet.

Conceived, compiled, designed and edited by the Creative Directors, the book is a compendium of the Creative Director’s research and the stories their process revealed and explores the Australian affinity with the pool. Designed to offer a richer experience of the exhibition, it explores the relationship between architecture and Australian cultural identity through personal anecdotes about one of our country’s most significant public spaces.

Eight prominent Australians have shared their poolside stories, including Olympic swimmers Ian Thorpe and Shane Gould, environmentalist Tim Flannery, fashion designers Romance was Born, authors Christos Tsiolkas and Anna Funder, Indigenous art curator Hetti Perkins and musician Paul Kelly.

The pool is revealed through the featured accounts as a vital force in Australian life, not only as the setting for childhood memories, but also as the stage for impressive sporting feats that fuel the nation’s pride. A backdrop to many significant events in our communities, the pool is also a deeply contested space in the history of Australia, that has highlighted racial discrimination and social disadvantage.

Designed to be accessible, visually appealing but also intimate in tone, the book works as a standalone publication, while also giving visitors to the exhibition a deeper and more meaningful engagement with the themes being explored.

The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity in Australia is available for purchase here.