However, the biggest challenge during the construction of Frederikssund Swimming Centre was not building on a slope, but designing a modern swimming centre that fulfils a range of different needs:
“A general trend in public works projects is the desire to accommodate the needs of many different users at once. For example, for schools to also serve as after-school care centres or leisure clubs. This requirement is also evident in new swimming centre projects. The centres have to offer multiple leisure alternatives, to create synergies and encourage as many people as possible to join in,” explains Niels Haugaard.
This trend has been recognised by the Danish Foundation for Culture and Sports Facilities, which published its “What makes for a functional swimming centre?” analysis in 2018. Shortly after publication of the analysis, development consultant Jakob Færch pointed out that the design of swimming centres has been changing in recent years, to make the centres attractive to more people:
“The usage patterns and exercise habits of Danes have changed a lot over the past 20-30 years, so the way many Danish swimming centres are designed is outdated. We’re seeing growth in water sports, for example, and those who practise them want to use swimming centres for their winter training and water safety courses. Elite swimmers want to do weight training on the pool edge, and for wellness enthusiasts, it is essential to have calm and a chance to stimulate the senses. That’s why we focus on ways of embracing new activities in the centres and pools,” he said.
The Danish Foundation for Culture and Sports Facilities is involved in developing facilities that address current challenges in the leisure sector – due in part to changes in the sports habits of Danes.
One of the key conclusions in the foundation’s analysis is that one in three swimming centre users feels that other users impinge on their own activities, leading to lower satisfaction. The criticism is particularly aimed at multifunctional pools, where many people compete for the same space and there is no clear division between various activities. One solution is therefore to make pools that are flexible – that can be adapted to different needs.