Ostend Swimming Pool

Public Space
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The design of the swimming pool was a joined project between the architects Paul Felix (1913-1981) and Jan Tanghe (1929-2003) and the civil engineers Willy Canfyn, Ferdinand Porta and René Gobin between 1967 and 1971. Felix and Tanghe lived in Ostend and were close friends who collaborated several times throughout their careers. Both were interested in the social aspects of architecture, which are essentially found in servitude, experience and meaning (Archipel, 2016).

The municipal swimming pool has a design with a striking dual character. On the one hand there is the monumental swimming hall with its imposing roof structure in exposed concrete, supported by eight triangular buttresses. While swimming you can enjoy a wide view over the city and even over the North Sea. On the other hand, there are the secondary volumes such as terraces, ramps and steps. They form the transition to the immediate vicinity and mitigate the monumentality of the hall. Upon entering the swimming hall one immediately oversees the complex. This impressive first experience is one of the functional assumptions. Continuously, you have to go down to the changing rooms in order to come up again to the 50 meters swimming pool. That implicates that this building can only be experienced as a swimmer, which is unique. Unlike many pools this project has a sunny, open and extrovert character (Archipel, 2016).