Is This Danish Aquatic Centre the World’s Best Public Pool?

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May 01, 2018

by BRIDGET DE MAINE, Online Writer

Australia may be celebrated for impressive public pools and swimming holes but this upcoming Danish offering could pip us to the post of “world’s best”.

This futuristic public pool will sit in the middle of Copenhagen’s harbour and allow bathers to swim both indoors and outdoors, through brick pyramids and along glass-walled lanes. 

Japanese architectural firm Kengo Kuma and Associates won unanimous support this week from a competition jury for their imagining of an ultra-modern waterfront aquatics centre in Denmark’s capital city.

Planned for completion in 2021, Water Culture Centre will provide locals with a complex network of open-air and indoor pools, along with a gym, wellness centre and sports facilities on a 5000-square-metre site.

Despite the extensive facilities, the venue’s otherworldly design steals the biggest share of attention. Soaring pyramid-shaped buildings of textured grey brick with moat-like outdoor pools weave between the structures and the centre culminates in a staggered outdoor terrace bath that flows seamlessly into the harbour.

The extensive plans mark the final transformation of Christiansholm (also known as or Paper Island), an abandoned island in the middle of the city’s harbour that previously housed a street stall market. 

As Copenhagen does dip into temperatures of 0°C in the cooler months, all-season appeal has been built – literally – into the structure. The prevailing grey brick, for example, will vary in opacity and some walls will be purposefully “perforated” with strategically placed skylights. This will give the centre a glow from the inside on particularly chilly and dark winter evenings, the design notes explain.

Taking a dip with a harbour view from a floating aquatic wonderland? Sounds like a great idea – no matter the weather.

All photos via Kengo Kuma

SEE ALSO: The World’s 10 Best Infinity Pools