Swimming and water exercise are popular activities among all ages and at all skill levels – and many old centres are being renovated and new ones built. In a new online feature, Troldtekt A/S is bringing together knowledge, trends and examples that can help guide the design of swimming centres in 2021.
We use swimming centres to exercise, relax and enjoy ourselves with our families. The varying usage scenarios place demands on developers, architects and builders who have to jointly arrive at the perfect design – that avoids friction between user groups. GPP Arkitekter and Bay Arch have succeeded in this balancing act in the newly built Frederikssund Swimming Centre.
“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 architect Niels Haugaard, co-owner of GPP Arkitekter.
He gives examples from the newly constructed swimming centre, built into the slope near Sillebro Ådal:
“There is, of course, a large pool for elite swimming and swimming lessons. And there’s also a children’s and exercise pool and a slide. We even have an area with no pool. We call it the ‘dry land’ area. It caters for people doing exercises out of the water, spectators at water sports, or events such as children’s birthday parties.”
The interview with Niels Haugaard is part of a new online feature on swimming centres at www.troldtekt.com. Original Danish Troldtekt acoustic panels are a popular choice for ceilings and walls in swimming centres.
This feature series also describes 16 trends for the swimming centres of the future, that the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) NGO has compiled in a report. The 16 trends cover everything from economics and digital features to new usage patterns that affect the architecture.
Germany has a strong bathing culture, and one German architectural firm with extensive experience in combining function and atmosphere is 4a Architekten. In the swimming and leisure park in the German town of Kusel, Troldtekt panels in a number of special colours form part of the architecture. They contribute to the identity and atmosphere of the place – as well as the superior acoustics.
“It’s very important to use sound-absorbing materials on the ceiling. You have to be able to have fun and relax. A pool area with poor acoustics is not good for the brain,” says Ernst Ulrich Tillmanns, CEO of 4a Architekten, in the new feature series.
In addition to effectively absorbing the sound of splashing, shouting and playing, Troldtekt acoustic cement-bonded wood wool panels are durable, with a natural resistance to moisture. The flexible design options also offer great freedom to architects – for example when designing facilities for modern outdoor baths.
Troldtekt acoustic panels were used in the award-winning Vestre Fjordpark in Aalborg, and in the unique Isfuglen clubhouse for winter bathers in Brøndby harbour. In both cases, the cement-bonded wood wool panels match the use of wood throughout the architecture.
“Clubhouses for bathers and outdoor baths are buildings that must meet strict demands. They are exposed to salt water, wind and rain, and users who come in covered with water and salt. Wood is ideal for such environments because it is so flexible. It can bend in the wind and expand,” explains Balder Johansen, CEO of LOGIK & CO, which has become expert in building bather clubhouses to meet the huge demand in the metropolitan area.
Read the feature articles on swimming pools here
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