Louny Municipal Swimming Hall, Czech Republic

This dynamically shaped, on all sides barely open crystal reveals the indoor world of a swimming hall on its south side. The outstanding overhang of the sloping roof surface with a sharp scarf of side facades enables two very different worlds to meet: one of a minimalistically dressed blue swimmer practising water sports in a wood-panelled space, and one of a random passerby wrapped in warm winter clothing. The tension of contrast between these two worlds is reflected in the rippling glass facade facing the public space that adjoins the neighbouring municipal office buildings. Through this mutual interaction revealing the secret of movement, local residents are invited to spend their leisure time actively engaging in physical activities.

The significant roof slope corresponding with the slope of the local terrain provides the necessary clear height for the pool hall, while its overhang regulates sun rays penetration for different seasons. On the other hand, the standard clear height on the north side of the object fits a pool bar, showers and a sauna world, which emerges from the crystal mass with its cooling terrace on the coldest side of the building with a view over the Bohemian Central Mountains.

The basement containing technologies, facilities and storage space is attached to the original terrain level difference. The use of this local given minimises necessary terrain works. The upper floor is dedicated solely to the water and sauna world with a communication centre point at the pool bar. On the west side of the building, there is an outdoor whirlpool and a water slide with a stairway tower, a symbol of swimming halls, positioned at the main road of the city.

The building aims to exceed the usual way of swimming pool solutions, typical for its shunning of views from the surroundings. On the contrary, this swimming hall opens up with the main glass facade and gives passers-by an insight into the sporting activities within. The placement of the swimming pool scene in the public space of the city thus naturally encourages to participate in sports and recreational activities inside the hall. With its openness, the object enhances a positive perception of the swimming hall’s area as a space intended for anyone, breaks down possible prejudices about the sports environment and motivates the locals to improve their physical condition.