On 1 May, the most sustainable swimming pool in the Netherlands opened its doors to the public. The Geusseltbad in Maastricht was designed and built in accordance with the cradle-to-cradle philosophy. No other swimming pool in history has been built with such use of sustainable materials. And the jewel in the crown is the ceramic C2C facade finish by Mosa Facades.
The Geusseltbad is the beating heart of Geusseltpark, an area currently under major development along the A2 in Maastricht. The multifunctional swimming and sport complex contains five pools: a recreation pool, a combination pool, a competition pool, a wellness pool and an outdoor pool. In designing and constructing the complex, the architecture firm of Slangen + Koenis Architecten utilised the cradle-to-cradle philosophy. This philosophy is based not on reduction but rather on unlimited reuse of all product components and materials. The Geusseltbad is climate neutral, equipped with the latest technologies and fully self-sufficient. It is the first swimming pool in the Netherlands with a BREEAM-NL Bespoke certificate, meaning the building’s sustainability has been independently tested and confirmed.
The latest technologies
Cutting-edge technologies have been incorporated to provide visitors with every possible convenience, now and in the future. For example, the floors of the pools are adjustable, and perforated wood was used in the walls and ceilings for optimal acoustics. Heat pumps were used to achieve an all-electric energy concept, which was designed almost entirely in line with cradle-to-cradle (C2C) principles, making the Geusseltbad the first and only swimming pool in the Netherlands with no gas supply.
The pool is heated by geothermal sources, and a solar collector mat on the roof supplies the heat for the outdoor pool in the summer. Rinse water for the pool and toilets is drawn from the ground, which limits drinking water consumption. The PV solar cells on the roof are used for the energy supply wherever possible. Any additional power needs are covered by green energy sources.
Mosa C2C Facade System
Mosa Facades, the ceramic facade tile specialist, joined forces with the architecture firm of Slangen + Koenis Architecten to develop the facade tiles for the project. And this collaboration did not just come out of the blue. Mosa is headquartered just a stone’s throw from the Geusseltbad and is also the world’s first and only tile producer to achieve C2C certification for all its tiles. The architecture firm and Mosa Facades spent over two years developing a sustainable facade finish. Jetske Bömer, project architect at S + K: “The development process was immediately launched in the first phase, which made it possible to create a new tile in which Mosa Facades’ latest insights and ambitions were combined with the aesthetic and sustainable ambitions of Slangen + Koenis. This gave rise to an optimisation, resulting in a simplification of the ultimate product and an enhancement of the aesthetic foundations.”
Fine ceramic C2C tiles
The collaboration between the architecture firm and the Maastricht tile company yielded an attractive tile creation that highlights design, functionality and sustainability. Bömer: “What really appealed to us was that Mosa was prepared to put energy into our ambition from the beginning.” The Geusseltbad’s C2C facade system contains 6,258 fine ceramic tiles in three shades of black, four different widths and three different depths, creating a playful facade image. The tiles are C2C Silver certified, scratch- and acid-resistant and sintered in such a way that they are non-absorbent and colour-fast. Coffers of varying widths and depths are attached to aluminium profiles on the wood frame structure.
In addition to being involved in the development of the facade, Mosa was also employed for the final installation of the tiles in the interior. Anti-slip tiles were chosen for the floors, and the shower rooms feature a refreshing palette of colours. Tiles of various dimensions in beige and brown shades were used for the walls in the corridors and the dining area, emphasising the linear structure of the Geusseltbad. One hundred percent cradle-to-cradle materials and pigments were used in producing the tiles; in regard to sourcing, both the clay and the pigments are from a known origin. With the design of the Geusseltbad, Slangen + Koenis Architecten and Mosa Facades have proven that, in the swimming pool of the future, aesthetics and innovation go hand in hand with sustainability.