Swimming is a strangely intimate city activity – people stripping off their clothes to play together or swim side-by-side in common waters. Sometimes these spaces emerge by design while in other cases they are spontaneous interactions in public waters, makeshift spaces or even after rains that flood the streets.
This Badeschiff in Berlin was originally a temporary art installation but the locals loved it so much it was converted into a permanent attraction – a swimming pool in the middle of the city, covered for year-round use and complete with its own bar (this is Germany, after all).
“After the fruitful summer bathing ship and the brisk demand of press, in autum 2005 the construction was roofed temporarily, to maintain the business over winter,” says architecture firm Wilk-Salinas Architekten. “The winter- roofs base area is limited to the existing arrangement and consists of three lengthwise airy parts of a structure constructed with membrans, which are divorcing the interior into three functional areas: lounge, sauna- area and finally the pool ship. These areas are connected via added boxes where the sanitarian rooms are included.”
Outside of Copenhagen, the Kastrup Sea Bath is more an interactive sea structure than a well-defined swimming space – a way to provide infrastructure for water activities without detracting from the boundless beauty of the surrounding sea.
“Reaching out into the Øresund from Kastrup Strandpark in Kastrup, Kastrup Sea Bath forms a living and integral part of the new sea front,” says White Arkitekter. “The project consists of the main building on the water, the new beach and an adjoining service building with lavatories and a handicap changing room.”
“A wooden pier leads the visitor round to a circular construction, gradually elevating above the sea surface, and ending in a 5m diving platform. The building material is Azobé wood, chosen for it’s durability in sea water.”
The Copenhagen Harbor Bath abstractly resembles a sunken ship and is likewise more a framework for fun than a structural necessity, defining space within the clean city harbor and creating places for shallow and deep swimming as well as diving.
“Copenhagen’s harbor is in the midst of a transformation from an industrial port and traffic junction to being the cultural and social centre of the city,” says BIG + JDS. “The Harbour Bath has been instrumental in this evolution. It extends the adjacent park over the water by incorporating the practical needs and demands for accessibility, safety and programmatic flexibility. Rather than imitating the traditional Danish indoor swimming bath, the Harbour Bath offers an urban harbour landscape with dry-docks, piers, boat ramps, cliffs, playgrounds and pontoons. As a terraced landscape, the Harbour Bath completes the transition from land to water, making it possible for the citizens of Copenhagen to go for a swim in the middle of the city.”
Dumpster diving takes on an entirely new meaning in this incredible urban swimming pool project in Brooklyn, New York, in which a few days was all that was needed to transform a set of dumpsters into useful public swimming spaces.