Dutch pool wins title world’s most beautiful public baths
Dutch architects Architekten Cie. have won the title world’s most beautiful public swimming pool for their design of the Noorderparkpad public baths. The swimming pool is situated on the edge of a park close to one of North Amsterdam’s working class neighbourhoods.
Image: Architekten Cie.
The jury of the French organisation Piscine Global stated that its light and airy architecture fits perfectly into the park’s wooded landscape. The transition between the wooden exterior and the smooth curves of the baths inside invites visitors into the swimming pavilion.
In 2015, the new pool replaced the old baths built in 1937 when it became too expensive to run. The new pool not only looks better, it is also built more sustainably. Solar energy is generated via PV cells in the roof, making the swimming pool the country's most sustainable public baths. The most striking element of the design is the wavy rain curtain covering the exterior. The curtain collects rainwater to be used in the swimming pool itself. On a rainly day, raindrops cascade into a collection drain built into the paving stones, in the winter icicles form turning the building into an ice palace and in the summer the chain curtain shimmers in the sun. The curtain lifts at the entrance giving the pool a threatrical touch. The south facing windows offers views into the English landscaped park as well as allowing the space to be warmed by the sun.
Amsterdam Architecture Prize
Most importantly the Noorderparkbad is run by the council for local residents. It has a strong social function action as a neighbourhood meeting place. The pool's secondary functions (offices) are set towards the back of the second floor allowing more light into the building. This is not the first time the building has won an award, the Noorderparkbad received both the jury and public Amsterdam Architecture Prize 2016.