Písek Swimming Pool
Pisek, Czech Republic
Pools and baths are among the oldest known building types. Since the beginning of time, water has always played a leading role in the life of humankind, as a vital element not only for the development of human beings, but also as one of the key factors of social life, community, leisure, and indulgence. Nowadays, however, this kind of statement is becoming harder to make, as we have witnessed the erosion of the public domain. Rather than expressing a society’s values, exclusive Health centers and Spa infrastructures express the economic aspirations of private sectors.
The creation of the new Pisek swimming pool offers a unique chance to rethink this typology by addressing new paradigms in the interrelationship of water, nature, architecture, and society, simultaneously providing an opportunity to create an everlasting moment to renew social life by establishing a new public space in the city. Therefore, the project seeks to challenge three main water interactions – Water & City, Water & Public space and Water & Citizenship.
Given the condition of the existing terrain available for the implementation of the complex, the strong presence of the Sramkova bridge and the railroad in the east, the busy street of Burketova in the north and football facilities in the south city blocks, the building has been generated as an extension of the city public space and results in three essential conditions: 1) A new topography has been generated to define spaces and activities within the complex site. 2) A rooftop covers and protects this new recreational landscape of water. 3) The rooftop establishes a new city square.
The glass used to enclose the building generates a diaphanous and ambiguous environment with the reflections of the trees and transparencies, creating different levels of intimacy and merging the interior with the exterior. Therefore, it is not the building that establishes itself as a reference, but rather the new urban place and the experience that the building generates. Surrounding the created ground topography and the floating pavement, a is a landscape bordered by a framework of trees which incorporates a veil system that filters the views to and from this new place.