KVINAbadet - Swimming pool complex

Kvinesdal municipality, Southern Norway

3.200 m2

1. prize in limited planning and design competition March 2013
Completed December 2016

RATIO won the architectural competition in  2013 for a swimming pool arena in the small community of Kvinesdal in southern Norway. The complex was completed in December 2016.

The site has an attractive position at the riverbank, adjacent to a newly established activity park. The site being so close to the river required comprehensive flood prevention measures.

The complex’ main 25 m pool has six lanes and a diving tower with diving boards at 1, 3 and 5 meters. Beside the main pool, the complex contains a play pool for the smaller children, a 10 by 6 meter therapy pool and a spa section with two heated pools and a sauna. The diving tower also gives access to two slides.

A part of the main pool has an adjustable floor to allow swimming training for children. Alongside the main pool is a tribune with seating capacity for 150. A small café serves the public areas at both the entrance and poolside. A 14-meter-high climbing wall greets you as you enter, forming an integrated part of the entrance hall. The spa-area surrounds a small atrium, containing a hot water pool.

The walls and floors are built with in-situ concrete, finished with a clear sealant. A giant wooden ceiling of oak slats spans over the public areas. The interior landscape is furnished with oak panel cladded “boxes” for the sauna, the reception, the café kitchen and the staff room. These “boxes” and the ceiling provides a warm materiality and tactility in contrast to the concrete walls and the tiles in floors and pools.

The building has a simple cubic shape, with two elevated forms where required: above the diving area and the climbing wall. The exterior cladding of aluminium cassettes has a variety of sizes and irregular lines. Smaller façade elements with oak panel cladding and the entrance canopy in wooden construction provide tactility in contrast to the aluminium panels, whose shiny surface reflects – as does the water surface of the river – the changing light and colours of the sky firmament.   

Tove Lauluten
Sindre Ellingsen
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