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Designed by Alexander Buchanan Campbell, it was opened in 1968 as Scotland's first 50-metre (although not Olympic standard) swimming pool. It consists principally of pre-stressed concrete and imitates a colossal marquee - the vaulted 324 ft parabolic arched roof appears to be held down by pairs of 'V' shaped-struts that meet the ground at a 30° angle.
In 1993, the international conservation organisation DOCOMOMO listed Dollan Baths as one of sixty key monuments in Scottish post-war architecture. It was listed in 2002 (as Dollan Aqua Centre) as a Category A building by Historic Scotland.
Structural engineering surveys showed that parts of the pool surround and pool tank were in a state of near collapse and emergency work had to be carried out to install temporary structural supports. About one year later, the centre was closed in October 2008 to allow a substantial programme, consisting of structural repairs and replacements and the installation of new structural supports. This required a significant amount of structural engineering design input. Fortunately, the structure of the unique roof was not affected.
At the same time, substantial redesign and replacement of heating and ventilation and pool water treatment engineering services was carried out.
This part of the work included the installation of: New high-efficiency gas-fired boilers, a ventilation system for the swimming pool hall, a combined heat and power system, new water filters and high-efficiency pumps as part of an upgraded pool water treatment system.
Electrical engineering and lighting systems were almost entirely replaced throughout the building.
The external roof covering was replaced and an additional layer of thermal insulation was added to reduce heat loss from the roof and to provide extra protection for the roof structure.
New lockers were provided for the changing rooms and the health suite. New tiles were placed for the pool and health suite.
The repair work began in July 2009 and the Aqua Centre re-opened on 28 May 2011. The completion of the major repair and refurbishment contract costed over £9 million.
The Centre hosted the swimming events for the 2011 International Children's Games.
- The Dollan Baths, Twentieth Century Society
- Dollan Aqua Centre, South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture
- Dollan Aqua Centre, East Kilbride website
- Buchanan Campbell collection, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland