The brief was for a two training pool complex with associated
changing and parent viewing area combined with an independent
yet integrated café and parking areas. The building sits within an industrial
park and is designed as part of a complex of buildings that includes a
daycare facility that Bonnifait+Giesen Architects designed
in 2014 and a Gymnasium to be built in 2019.
The site and brief created tight cost constraints and the vision was of
a simple but highly efficient building that privileged the ability
for parents to watch their child’s swimming tutorial without
disturbing the lessons. The larger pool is also used for training
of local sports teams and College pupils.
Within these tight constraints B+G Architects focused on the use of
a simple form that created a generous volume. The volume is developed
from the lowest portion of the building – the entrance buffer space,
through the reception and changing areas to the most voluminous
part of the building which houses the pools, the parents lounge
and the café.
A strict one way planning for pool access and changing was developed
to suit toddlers and their parents, school children, college
teams and semi-professional sports teams.
The café holds two distinct sections that can be separated to allow
the café to operate as a distinct business serving the surrounding
offices, companies and locals. The pool and the viewing section
of the café can also be rented for private functions.
The industrial materials used as exterior cladding is contrasted
by a highly crafted interior developed around a simple palette
of raw and cost effective materials.
In the lounge area, Strandboard ceilings fold onto the interior
walls that form the cafe and administration block. The lower panels
were routered with resulting recesses being painted a cloudy
grey Resene Black Haze. An opalescent corrugate wall provides
a dividing screen while creating a soft glow of natural light
throughout the space.
A range of intense Resene colours
was used on doors to provide strong way finding elements.
To deal with the corrosive nature of the interior pool environment,
laminated timber beams were combined with concrete floors. The concrete
texture flows up the walls in the form of clear-coated fibre cement panels
to a datum of 2.4m. Above this datum, the panels are painted with a crisp,
intense and vibrant Resene colour “Blue Lagoon”. The dome thus
created is dressed with a secondary surfaced made up of colour
coordinated pool noodles (see description below) strung between
the Glulam beams.
A major problem in internal swimming pools is the excessive noise.
We saw the use of Pool Noodles as the chance to use an easily sourced,
extremely low cost product on a mass scale to create a unique surface
that would provide visual stimulation, sound dispersion and absorption.
We used Stainless Steel wiring normally used for Balustrades to hang
the Noodles. An eyelet system allowed a single length of wire to run
the length of the Pool meaning minimal tensioning was required.
A prototype of the system was developed in our studio and currently
sits above our meeting table. The final solution was simple enough
so the clients were able to install this element by themselves.