Reclaiming the waterfront with outdoor swimming pools isn’t a new concept, but Office for Peripheral Architecture (OOPEAA)’s latest design stands out from the pack with its modular and scalable design that can be applied in a wide variety of settings. Declared the winner of an invited architecture competition organized by Töölö Urban for the Allas Sea Pool Family, the Finnish architecture firm’s proposal was selected for its embrace of the outdoors and incorporation of local culture. Dubbed the ‘New Nordic Urban,’ the floating sea pool will use a modular and flexible building system constructed with recyclable cross-laminated timber elements.
The first Allas Sea Pool opened in the heart of Helsinki in May 2016 and has been positively received, not least because of its year-round operations. The company now has hopes of going global with its outdoor pools and multifunctional spaces. OOPEAA won the competition with its flexible and adjustable design that exudes the “Nordic values of good life” with its inviting character and waterfront connection.
“The winning proposal for the new global concept for the Allas Sea Pool Family by OOPEAA takes the notion of the New Nordic Urban as its starting point,” explains OOPEAA. “The ‘New Nordic Urban’ is defined as a sense of experience. It brings together the Nordic sensibility for the contemplation on nature with a healthy orientation towards physical activity and an urban inclination towards the social aspects of life. It is a celebration of the Nordic values of egalitarian sharing and good life. The ‘New Nordic Urban’ is essentially about bringing together the social sense of the urban (to see and to be seen + to share in the company of others) and a chance to enjoy nature and the element of water (contemplation + physical activity and sports).”
Sustainability is also a part of the design, which will be built primarily of cross-laminated timber, the modular parts of which can be transported over waterways. The design’s scalable nature covers a wide range of sizes – from the smallest, with an indoor area of 800 square meters on a 2,000-square-meter floating platform, to the largest, with an indoor area of 3,500 square meters on a 10,000-square-meter platform. OOPEAA’s first design will be built in Oulu in Northern Finland with a slated completion date of 2019.
Images via Office for Peripheral Architecture