Toronto-based architects, gh3* have just unveiled a stunning chemical-free natural pool in the city of Edmonton, Alberta. The Borden Park Natural Swimming Pool, which replaced an existing pool that dated back to the 1950s, was incorporated with several innovative natural filtration processes that uses a combination of stone, gravel, sand and botanic filtering to keep the waters clean and pristine.
The project was a massive undertaking from the start. The old pool and infrastructure had to be completely gutted to make room for the new, completely chemical-free swimming pool. The whopping 64,465 square foot complex is made up of seasonal pavilion and landscaped pool area that accommodates up to 400 swimmers. In addition to the main swimming area, there is also a kids pool. Next to the outdoor area, a large contemporary building houses the universal changing rooms, along with showers and bathrooms. There is also a sandy beach and picnic area, as well as a volleyball court and exhibition space.
To create an all-natural swimming pool that was safe for swimmers, the designers had to work within Canada’s ultra strict regulations for public swimming pools. To completely avoid the use of chemicals was challenging, but the team worked with several experts to create a balanced ecosystem where plant materials, microorganisms and nutrients come together to create a system of “living water.”
The pool water is filtrated in two ways: using a biological-mechanical system or using the constructed wetland and gravel filter filled wtih Zooplankton. These soil-free systems allow for a chemical and disinfectant free filtering system in which water is completely cleaned via a natural process as it circulates.
The system entails a long circulation process that sees the water flow through a sand and stone pond first, then a hydro botanic pond. Adjacent to these ponds, a granular filter PO4 adsorption unit was installed that runs along the gabion walls that run the length of the pool, allowing the water to circulate from one end to the other unnoticed. The entire system allows for a natural, chemical-free cleaning process that is entirely eco-friendly and safe for swimmers.
The natural swimming pool is the firm’s latest addition to the Edmonton area. In 2015, the designers unveiled a gorgeous glowing mirrored pavilion in the same area.
Photos via gh3*