The Aquarama Multipurpose Sports Centre and Bystranda Hotel is the result of a public-private partnership initiated by Kristiansand Council in southern Norway.

Troldtekt, Aquarama, Kristiansand
Photo: Tommy Kosior, Troldtekt A/S

The brief was to deliver a high end leisure and aquatic centre featuring a multi-functional swimming pool and sports hall together with 7000m2 of office and retail space and also a separate large hotel. Designed by architects Asplan Viak, the complex covers nearly 40,000m2.

The new swimming pool is located on the south side facing the park and the sea beyond, whereas the sports hall, office block and hotel are located on the north side and follow the existing grid layout of the Kristiansand town centre. The 229 room hotel, the largest in southern Norway, forms part of an S-shaped block located to the west of the swimming pool so that the majority of hotel rooms have beautiful seafront views while public rooms look onto a south facing courtyard.

Material wise, the S-shaped block is constructed from heavy stone cladding, which reflects the surrounding buildings, whereas the swimming pool uses lighter materials such as very large glass walls and metallic solar shading fins.

Ultrafine Troldtekt ceiling panels are used throughout the aquatic centre.  The choice of colour varies from those painted black, such as in the circulation areas and canteen, to natural wood painted white in the changing areas. All these provide a very strong contrast to the many brightly coloured or neutral coloured floors. 

Architect Cecilie Skjomming of Asplan Viak said, ‘We were looking for a type of ceiling, which was durable and could withstand rough use from active youth.  It was also important that the ceiling would help us achieve good room acoustics and have the right fire resistance properties.’