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Borden Park Natural Swimming Pool / gh3

Borden Park Natural Swimming Pool / gh3

Courtesy of gh3 Courtesy of gh3 Courtesy of gh3 Courtesy of gh3 + 20

Swimming Pool  · 
Edmonton, Canada
  • Architects Authors of this architecture project gh3
  • Area Area of this architecture project
    5989.0 m2
  • Project Year Brands with products used in this architecture project
    2018
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Accoya, Bossini, Deronde, Gabion Wall Systems, Imar Steel, Industrias Imar, Pittsburgh Glass, Simonet, Tucci, VELUX Commercial
  • Design Team

    Pat Hanson, Raymond Chow, Bernard Jin, Joel DiGiacomo March, Nicholas Callies March, John McKenna Barch, DaeHee Kim
    • Clients

      City of Edmonton
    • Structural

      Morrison Hershfield
    • Mechanical

      Morrison Hershfield
    • Electrical

      Morrison Hershfield
    • Civil

      Morrison Hershfield
    • LEED

      Morrison Hershfield
    • Gabion

      Associated Engineering
    • Natural Swimming Pool

      Polyplan GmBh
    • Landscape

      gh3* architecture
    • Consultants

      Morrison Hershfield
    More Specs Less Specs
    Courtesy of gh3
    Courtesy of gh3

    Text description provided by the architects. The Borden Park Natural Swimming Pool is the first chemical free public outdoor pool to be built in Canada. The project replaced an existing pool, with a seasonal pavilion and landscaped pool precinct for 400 swimmers. Our challenge was to create a large-scale pool with the high-quality water control (a criterion essential for any public bathing facility), while also achieving an environmentally healthy and natural filtration process.

    Courtesy of gh3
    Courtesy of gh3

    We began by establishing a pool technology that cleanses the water through stone, gravel, sand, and botanic filtering processes, and this inspired us to create a materials-oriented concept for the changeroom facility to achieve a technically rigorous and aesthetically integrated design.

    Courtesy of gh3
    Courtesy of gh3

    Canada’s guidelines for public pools are some of the strictest in the world, so to realize the project the architects needed to take a creative approach, classifying the project as “recreational waters” with the building permit as a “constructed beach with variances” – and the variances were the pools. The pool involves a balanced ecosystem where plant materials, microorganisms, and nutrients come together within a gravel and sand filtering process to create “living water”. 

    Courtesy of gh3
    Courtesy of gh3

    There is no soil involved in this process. Filtration is achieved in two ways: by means of a biological-mechanical system or the constructed wetland and gravel filter, and in situ, with Zooplankton. This is an unsterilized, chemical and disinfectant free filtering system in which isolating membranes contain water as it circulates and is cleansed by means of a natural process. The process takes place at the north end of the pool precinct.

    Courtesy of gh3
    Courtesy of gh3

    On deck, water passes through a sand and stone submersive pond and a planted hydro botanic pond. Adjacent to these ponds, a granular filter PO4 adsorption unit is enclosed by the gabion walls continuous with the building.

    Site plan
    Site plan
    Diagram
    Diagram

    The building houses universal change rooms, showers, washrooms, staff areas and the water filtration mechanisms. The swimming program includes a children’s pool, a deep pool, on-deck outdoor showers, a sandy beach, picnic areas, and spaces for other pool related recreational activities. The project’s materiality creates a fundamental conceptual connection between the technical demands of the pool and the design of the built enclosure and landscape elements.

    Courtesy of gh3
    Courtesy of gh3

    The dark limestone and steel of the gabion wall construction defines the enclosure’s vertical dimension as filter-like or breathable, as granular and porous. The pool precinct is defined by a planar landscape where flush to surface detailing creates seamless interfaces among sandy beach, the concrete pool perimeter and wood decking. The gabion walls of the low rectilinear building terminate with a lid-like flat roof that frames the tree-canopy of the Park beyond and enhances the sensation of open-sky spaciousness within the pool precinct.

    Courtesy of gh3
    Courtesy of gh3

    The elemental form and reductive materials ease the user experience and enriches the narrative of bathing in the landscape. The juxtaposition of the constructed elements invokes comparisons with the geology of the North Saskatchewan River and the flat topography of the prairie lands edge.

    Courtesy of gh3
    Courtesy of gh3

    The building takes a cue from the two adjacent mid-century modernist style pool buildings. Built in the 1950s these extant buildings define the southwest edge of the pool precinct and connects the new with a century old cultural heritage of architecturally distinctive, civic outdoor bathing pavilions. The Borden Park Natural Swimming Pool is indicative of the City of Edmonton’s exemplary leadership and recognition of the civic importance of architectural excellence in the building of public infrastructure.

    Courtesy of gh3
    Courtesy of gh3

    Borden Park has evolved over the last century as a place of shared outdoor recreational activities, as a destination for family gatherings, for outdoor bathing since 1924, as well playing host to a zoo and at times fairground events. Borden Park holds immense civic value and social significance for the surrounding communities and for North / East Edmonton. The project contributes a signature landmark element within the on-going transformations of the historic landscape of the Park.

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    Project location

    Address: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

    Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
    About this office
    Cite: "Borden Park Natural Swimming Pool / gh3" 23 Aug 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/923434/borden-park-natural-swimming-pool-gh3/> ISSN 0719-8884
    Courtesy of gh3

    波登公园自然游泳池,加拿大首个无化学物质的室外泳池 / gh3

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