POOL DESIGN AWARDS 2018 - The most beautiful public swimming pool (municipal) - 1st place

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  • Architecture firm: AGENCE BROCHET LAJUS PUEYO
  • Lead architect: Paul-Louis Imbaud
  • Location: Saint Hilaire de Riez, France

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Photo credits: Jean-François Tremege

The project is located in, and blends in with, a remarkable Natura 2000 protected area. The graceful, elegant hall acts as a belvedere, providing 180° views to the south, east and west. When viewed from afar, the hall is the only part of the structure to emerge above the surrounding landscape of salt marshes and the river Vie. The roof is formed of three “petals”, suspended above the ground; the curved shape of its structure evokes the motion of water or a majestic manta ray.

The abstract character of this roof, levitating above the landscape, is created by means of a peripheral lattice structure that surrounds the pool area and supports the roof forming a single coherent structure. To make the pool hall stand out as the key feature of the project, all the cloakrooms and plant rooms are contained in an adjoining building with a radically different style.

– The cloakrooms are housed in a concrete building with a rough mineral finish that blends in with its surroundings. The plant rooms are inspired by the natural lie of the land and blend in with it.

– The façade lattice work filters the light and the views, creating reflections in the landscape.

– The curved shape of the internal roof structure absorbs noise and creates atmospheric lighting in the pool hall.

– The white metallic structure, pale-coloured flooring, and pale concrete and wood lattice walls blend harmoniously with the surrounding vegetation.

– Like a timeless shelter inspired by natural shapes, the pool hall resonates with its surroundings.

Nature provides the inspiration for an architectural style that creates a calm yet energising atmosphere. This is the identity that this remarkable landscape evokes for us. We emulated it through our architectural designs to create a pool hall for this particular setting, with a strong and dynamic presence.

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