Aalborg (DK)



15.000 sq m

Competition: aquatic centre

There is a challenge in blending the water world with the rectangular competition pool; the opposites interfered within one scheme. To develop a fully functional swimming pool with time related differences in water heights and thus generating a changing or adaptable waterscape. A concept not to create waves or disturbances - though eventually possible - but to introduce a tide that comes and goes, changing the water-land relations along the way. For this reason we developed a spatial holistic concept - a bathscape - in which space is either air-related or water-related; In other words rooms can be filled with water or with air. Air fills the wide and open space of the glass hall and is captured under the water surface as ‘air-bubbles’. Water-related space is continuous and contiguous; its form directly derived from its specific ‘bathing’ function.

This leads to a plan in which the water surface is the dividing line between two differing worlds; a bathing world below, carved out in mass, and sightseeing - cafe - area above in the sky. Held apart by a cushion of ‘conditioned’ air. Thus a layered volume arises, with a sponge-like pedestal, partly dug-in in the sloping field, a by glass facades surrounded empty rectangular space above, that shows panoramic view over the surrounding landscape, and a thick, sloping and functional roof apparently carried by the double glass membrane.

The layout of these wetlands is arranged in such a manner that all the different pools function as well in a high tide as in a low tide environment. The in-between is changing from water into land and vise-versa. The roof - hanging above like the belly of a submarine - embraces the restaurant and its adjoining functions. This area is reached either by stairs or by elevator. From here a spectacular birds-eye view is generated over the wetland.