The new Schwaketenbad was constructed on the same site as the original indoor aquatic center that was destroyed in a large fire in 2015. Normally swimming pools are large cubatures, with a multitude of water areas and attractions. The challenge lies in creating a well-proportioned building from this multitude of requirements. The goal was to design a family-friendly pool that welcomes different groups of visitors. Behnisch Architekten created a functional layout of the single-story swimming area, that suits the site’s unique location, while at the same time creating an atmospheric ambience. The differentiation of the roof surfaces characterizes the builing from the outside, but is largely derived from the different functions inside.
Attractively situated on the edge of the city in the immediate vicinity of the local recreation areas in the forests of Schwaketen and Mainau and surrounded by numerous sports facilities, this new structure was constructed close to nature. Generous glass facades, which border the house like a light, almost imperceptible curtain, provide an unimpeded view of the surrounding greenery and impressive stock of trees. Inside the deliberate use of natural materials, such as the wooden ceilings, creates a connection to the landscape of the adjacent forests. The expressively staged main entrance with a wide overhanging roof forms an inviting gesture.
The architects’ goal was to come up with the most sustainable design possible for the building and power supply. Almost the entire roof landscape is thus covered in photovoltaic modules supplied by the Stadtwerke Konstanz company. Most of the building’s heating is derived from combined heat and power modules and from waste heat produced by the pools and wastewater from the showers. This allows the indoor swimming pool to save around 171 tons in CO2 emissions each year.
The Schwaketenbad is the largest leisure pool on Lake Constance, addressed equally to different visitor groups. Attractively located on the edge of the city and the forest, it replaces the original aquatic center, destroyed in a fire in 2015. When approaching the building a generously designed entrance area with a wide overhanging roof welcomes guests. From the forecourt outside the giant, colorful slide towers are already recognizable and mark the highest point of the building. The building is characterized by three roof surfaces arranged at angles to each other, giving the building a sculptural character. Inside, an inviting, well-organized bathing landscape with different pools, water playground, slides, diving area and gastronomy with outdoor terrace unfolds at ground level. The pleasantly proportioned open and quiet zones combine with this finely tuned array of water areas to create a unique ambience. Above all the new swimming pool impresses with its daylight-flooded atmosphere: generous glass facades border the house like a light, barely perceptible curtain and allow unrestricted views of nature. The roof design with hights adapted according the use, creates bands of light that provide daylight in an atmospheric way. Wooden ceilings, clad with squared spruce timber, provide a natural materiality and create references to the landscape elements of the adjacent forest. Color accents are provided, for example, by the red heated benches and the shiny blue mosaic tiles.
"The design was convincing due to its organic and logical arrangement of the areas for sports and games as well as the individual pools," judged Robert Grammelspacher, managing director of Bädergesellschaft Konstanz mbH. “People are attracted to the leisure pool to exercise and relax. Children love the spacious play areas and the large slide complex is an attraction for young and old alike. The gastronomy is also very well received and new visitor records are already set.”
Behnisch Architekten was founded in 1989 and works out of five offices – Stuttgart, Munich, Weimar, Boston and Los Angeles. The firm enjoys a global reputation for high-quality architecture that integrates environmental responsibility, creativity, and public purpose and produces a rich variety of buildings mainly in Europe and North America. The partners and staff share a vision to push the boundaries of high performance, 21st-century architecture that respects user needs, ecological resources, and local cultures. From the beginning, Behnisch has prioritized the social dimension of architecture and the quality of the urban environment. Its projects respond to the material and spiritual needs of people. In over 30 years, the firm has created a diverse portfolio of projects that is attuned to the culture and climate of place and demonstrates new ways for occupants to inhabit their surroundings.