RAUM completes the meticulous rehabilitation and extension of a community swimming pool
Charles Bouchaïb

RAUM completes the meticulous rehabilitation and extension of a community swimming pool

29 Feb 2024  •  ニュース  •  By Gerard McGuickin

French architectural studio RAUM architectes has completed the meticulous rehabilitation and extension of a community swimming pool in Saint-Méen-le-Grand, a town in Brittany, France. The studio’s design marries old and new to create a unitary whole.

photo_credit Charles Bouchaïb
Charles Bouchaïb
photo_credit Charles Bouchaïb
Charles Bouchaïb

Built in 1994, the swimming pool was subsequently renovated and extended on several occasions — in 2008, 2013, and 2015. The original architecture consists of masonry elevations, a wooden frame, and a slate roof: “It does not particularly dissociate itself from the dominant local construction method by asserting itself as a suburban construction,” says RAUM. The pool’s successive extensions did not deviate from the structure’s more run-of-the-mill, domestic architecture, producing results that were “of low quality and in poor condition,” says the studio. The pool building was very much in a state of disrepair and its form was at odds with the nearby historic Abbey of Saint-Méen-le-Grand.

photo_credit Raum
Raum
photo_credit Raum
Raum

Contemporary architectural projects, particularly those that prioritize a building’s rehabilitation, require the careful management of resources, preserving where possible a building’s superstructure. From RAUM’s perspective, this incudes a form of contemporary architecture that integrates the existing building’s variety of forms with new additions. It is also about enhancing the site’s topography by connecting interior spaces with the landscape. The pool extension overlooks Saint-Méen-le-Grand’s sports fields which lie to the south-west.

photo_credit Raum
Raum
photo_credit Charles Bouchaïb
Charles Bouchaïb

The community swimming pool now consists of a series of structures clad in thermally insulated black Douglas fir battens from France. Gable roofs are covered in slate tiles — the slate on pre-existing roofs was completely overhauled and cleaned; the slate tiles on new roofs were fixed in place using black stainless steel hooks. To complete the exterior's minimal appearance, gutters are virtually invisible with troughs integrated into the roofs.

photo_credit Charles Bouchaïb
Charles Bouchaïb
photo_credit Charles Bouchaïb
Charles Bouchaïb

The facility is entered from its north-west facade and beyond the reception, there are three pools: a leisure pool, paddling pool, and sports pool. A small tea room and office were demolished and replaced by the paddling pool. Roof joists above the refurbished old leisure pool remain exposed. Painted green prior to the renovation, they are now finished in white. RAUM has made use of white throughout this space, including white wood-wool acoustic panels and tiles, creating a quiet and serene backdrop. The pool’s changing rooms have been completely refurbished.

photo_credit Charles Bouchaïb
Charles Bouchaïb
photo_credit Raum
Raum

(Above: 1. Offices; 2. Entrance; 3. Changing rooms; 4. Leisure pool; 5. Solarium; 6. Paddling pool; 7. Sports pool; 8. Storage.)

photo_credit Raum
Raum
photo_credit Charles Bouchaïb
Charles Bouchaïb

A new 25-meter (82-feet) sports pool extension on the eastern side features a fully glazed facade overlooking the sports fields. Above the pool, the double-sloped ceiling is clad in untreated wooden slats, displaying a clean, contemporary finish. The extension consists of a large-span glued laminated timber (glulam) frame made up of double lattice trusses. The suspended ceiling conceals this structure as well as technical installations. The new extension sits on a concrete base, integrated into the site’s slope.

photo_credit DESCHAMPS
DESCHAMPS
photo_credit Raum
Raum
photo_credit Charles Bouchaïb
Charles Bouchaïb
photo_credit Charles Bouchaïb
Charles Bouchaïb

Surface area: 1,338 square meters (14,402 square feet)

Rehabilitation and extension of a community swimming pool