Nowadays, swimming pools represent a real lifestyle. Complementing the pool itself, a variety of developments can be added to create surroundings that are dedicated to leisure and wellness. Landscaped areas, decks, pool houses, pool furniture, showers, changing rooms, sports equipment, etc.: here is an overview of the possibilities as seen at Piscine Global Europe 2016, which recently took place in Lyon.
Integrating pools into their surroundings
In addition to pool builders, many other specialists are involved in the swimming pool world, including landscapers. Bruno Bougnoux, who attended the seminar entitled “Integrating pools into their surroundings”, summarises: “Customers want a pleasant setting, where the pool must be integrated both into their house and its outdoor surroundings. They want the pool to be part of their house, like an extra room”.
To integrate pools harmoniously into their surroundings, everything must be taken into account: not just the type of plot, the orientation, the perspectives, etc. but also the living areas, and the customer’s way of life and expectations, explains Coralie Esteve, from Aloha. Because building a pool involves creating an entire living area.
For instance, with its “Villa MQ” pool and villa project, Office O’Architects, winner of the Pool Vision competition, which was held during the last edition of the Piscine Global Europe exhibition, proposed organic lines and took a fresh look at the hallmarks of luxury. The project was designed to provide a “complete experience”, as Magalie Munters from OAA explains.
Pool developments: creating a pleasant environment
An increasing number of innovative solutions are proposed to improve this new living area and give it some character. The quality of materials is increasing to meet the aesthetic and quality requirements of customers, as is the case with, for example, the floorings proposed by Caro’styl at the last Piscine Global Europe exhibition: “A blend of different tiles inspired by a natural stone found on the island of Java. This product has a distinctive colour and our sales have been strong since its launch at the beginning of January”, specifies Xavier Amerio.
For Emmanuel Attar from Poolstar, “For private customers and collective facilities alike, the visual impact of the products used around the pool is becoming increasingly important. They must blend into the natural environment or must be visually appealing through their colour or shape.”
In addition to the aesthetic appeal side, Pierre Coreggi also focused on comfort with his giant cushions named Jumbo Bag : “We wanted to create the market’s most comfortable product on the water. This cushion allows you to float on the water as if you were floating on a cloud, because we use small polystyrene balls and the softness of water. The water penetrates inside the product and pushes the polystyrene balls around, moulding them perfectly to the user’s body.”
Sport and wellness: the new face of aquatic centres
“SWIMMING IS THE SPORT THAT’S
SUITABLE FOR PEOPLE OF ANY AGE, WHETHER YOUNG OR OLD.”
FABIEN GILOT, CAPTAIN OF THE FRENCH SWIMMING TEAM
Today, pools are facilities for leisure, relaxation, sport and healthcare. In order to meet this multidisciplinary demand, project managers are now designing new types of facilities: “physiotherapy, balneotherapy, rehabilitation & wellness centres” such as Calicéo, which is located close to Lyon, or “the new aquatic centre that is currently being built in Saint Nazaire, which will have a total pool surface area of 1,200 m2 and will feature sports and healthcare services, with a hammam, a sauna, fitness facilities as well as other activities”, as Mr Martial explained to us during his visit to Piscine Global Europe.
More and more sports activities are currently being proposed in pools. For example, aqua spinning has boomed in the past few years: “We have gone beyond a mere fashion because aqua spinning has positive impacts on our health. Today, all new public and privately-owned pools must offer aqua spinning if they want to be successful”, explains Bruno Nicoletti, from Cardi’eau.
You can watch the video featuring the complete interviews on the topic of the swimming pool lifestyle, which were shot on location at Piscine Global Europe 2016 and also feature Sylvie di Palma, d’Armagi and H. Mauerer Architekt.