Slangen+Koenis Architects, in collaboration with Cordeel-Farys-Hellebrekers, have been selected transform a historic site in Temse, Belgium, into a new public pool and fitness center. The complex is situated in the Scheldepark, a scenic English landscape garden that once hosted a castle, and more recently a mid-century pool that has now fallen into disrepair.
The provision of three new pools; a leisure pool, a combination pool and a competition pool as well as a fitness centre, an indoor playground and a restaurant will turn the complex into the epicenter of activity within the park. Slangen+Koenis explained in a press release that "the aim of the design is to combine functions and activities creating a vibrant place during both day and night."
The Scheldepark is located on the banks of the river Schedlt, just outside of Temse's historic center. The new complex references the scenic and historic qualities of its surrounds, and is placed gently into the existing landscape like a pavilion into an English garden. The building is bound on all sides by public zones that soften the transition from garden to interior, and these zones are demarcated by large roof overhangs.
It was imperative to maintain visual connectivity between the garden and the new program. From the bistro area, both the indoor swimming pool and the Scheldepark can be overseen. A large terrace with flights of steps creates a resting and gathering place for users of the complex and the general park alike, and invites them to stay in the area.
The complex features a functional layout and routing that enables users to share many central functions, but also gives them the opportunity to retreat to their own activities. The interplay between communal spaces and these more private zones enables new users to be invited into the building, while maintaining the privacy of those utilizing the functions of the center.
Slangen+Koenis explained in their press release: When designing the pavilion, we took advantage of the 2521 concept with almost 30 years of knowledge in the field of swimming pool design, utilization, exploitation, maintenance and sustainability. The concept of 2521 provides a 25x21m swimming pool and a small restaurant area. However, the design is made-to-measure according to the specific site location and Belgian regulations. Due to the modular design and flexible construction system, it is possible to adapt the layout of the building depending on the program and target groups.
The consortium were awarded a DBFMO contract (Design, Build, Finance, Maintain and Operate) which means they will be overseeing the project for the next 30 years. With program spanning both day and night, Slangen+Koenis said that the pool complex will be "the beating heart of the Scheldepark."
LocationKasteelstraat 85, 9140 Temse, Belgium
PhotographsCourtesy of Slangen+Koenis Architecten
News via Slangen+Koenis.