Széchy Tamás Swimming Pool

Széchy Tamás Swimming Pool

Architect
Építész Stúdió
Location
Budapest, Hungary
Project Year
2006
Category
Swimming Pools

Széchy Tamás Swimming Pool

Építész Stúdió as Architects

In addition to its architectural qualities, the National Swimming Pool has become one of the symbols of Hungarian sports. Among other events, this is exactly why it could be the proper venue for the European Championship. The design concept involved an extension of the existing facility satisfying the new challenges competitions today pose, while respecting the architectural and sports history of the complex. Also, the new development was to take the uniform style and dimensions of its built environment into consideration and to become an integral part thereof – an ideal combination similar to that recognizable between the first two stages planned by Alfréd Hajós and the Csonka brothers. The area available for the extension did not allowed for the ideal construction of two pools in a linear fashion. The new pools have therefore been arranged along two shifted, parallel axes to comply with the requirements regarding a north-to-south axis. Due to area constrains, even this arrangement was only possible by demolishing the bleachers next to the existing diving tower allowing for the two diving pools to be sited next to each other to form one functional unit. Another challenge was the northern end of the existing swimming pool to wisely integrate the new architectural element into the former unit while also drawing attention to the continuity of the extension. In addition to serving as a closure, this element also incorporates the platforms of the new diving pool. Two distinct towers standing right next to each other proved to be problematic, which ultimately resulted in the diving tower’s wall-like design. We believed that this very accentuated architectural element of two functions may become the symbol of the European Championship by being connected to the existing architectural unit and, at the same time, opening toward a new character. Permanent bleachers, a terrace, locker rooms, showers and toilets, and a gym were placed between the two new pools in order to form a single horizontal building. Both throughout the European Championship and during everyday use, the layout of the pools allows for meeting with both the internal circulation needs arising from the pool function and the requirements regarding access from outside. Bleachers are constructed of monolithic reinforced concrete supplemented by galvanized steel rails and seats made of tropical wood suitable for outdoor use. The diving tower and the auxiliary structures are made of monolithic reinforced concrete and steel structures to expose the aesthetics of structural engineering.

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