Ängelholm bath house
Status: Idea 2008
Location: Ängelholm, SE
The swim hall and the hotel form a pocket of park that also serves as a new recreational node in the new neighborhood. The park axis is derived from the historical rail terrain, and the path meanders through recreational spaces spanning the Skovbroen bridge to the west, the new park between the pool and hotel, and the city center in the east. By combining the nature from the forest and beach together, the new park’s wild, natural landscape becomes a sort of gradient between the city and forest. Two competing urban grid systems also collide at the new swim hall site.
The two buildings each correspond to a different grid, and the resultant social space helps to unite those urban orientations in a similar way that the park mediates the change from natural landscape to urban environment. This collection of the surrounding environments, historical axes, and circulation paths emphasize the importance of the new swim hall as a social and recreational node within the new neighborhood.
The landscape is elevated to form a plinth at the intersection of the different axes, allowing access from all directions and space for a market. The swim hall wraps around the main circulation point, and takes on many of the characteristics of the new park, assuming its roll as an open and public recreational space. The hotel, in contrast, stands as a vertical landmark for the new complex.
A shared foyer defines an inner street that ties together the two different arrival plazas of the swim hall and hotel. This communal zone allows the public life to flow through the building, even outside of the pool’s hours of operation, and potentially provides space for unprogrammed commercial activities, like small markets or art exhibitions.
The wellness areas of the swim hall are placed at the second level, above the pools. They allow glimpses down toward the pools below, but are oriented primarily towards the forest canopy. The furniture and planting from the park and plaza continue inside the glass facad of the pool deck, blurring the line between the different recreational activities happening inside and outside of the swim hall.
The large waterslide pierces the building envelope, contributing even more to that effect. The surrounding landscape offers a wide range of possibilities: sledding hills and skating rinks in the winter, green hills and cafe tables near the pools during the summer, cultural events in front of an audience, a new market and concert venue, and more.
The swim hall is oriented towards the park where there is a sunterrace and outdoor pool. These are screened from the main entrance of the park by a larger pool. The light is filtered through the facade by a series of louvers which become more dense as there is need for more privacy and shade.
The openness creates a light and friendly atmosphere inside of the hall. The building is covered in a moss roof that helps control the runoff of rain water, while also linking the building to the surrounding forest.
A solid concrete core contains most of the dressing facilities and closed functions. Glue laminated timber beams, in line with the gallery, span the length of the swim hall. The timber is an ideal construction material in this type of building, because it is resistant to the gasses and moisture present in the swimming hall.
The slender dimension of the rafters also helps emphasize the light and open nature of the building program.