Thursday, December 25, 2008

Kastrup Sea Bath

A sculpture to walk on. And dive from. My idea was to achieve a sculptural, dynamic form that can be seen from the land, from the sea and from the air.
Kastrup Sea Bath
Design Team: Fredrik Pettersson of White Arkitekter
Location: Kastrup, Denmark
When to visit: Anytime
Award: AR Awards for Emerging Architecture 2006

What Denmark lacks in a Mediterranean climate, it makes up for in hardy, sportif enthusiasm, as borne out by this pier-cum-lido structure for sea swimming that forms part of a revitalised sea front at Kastrup, near Copenhagen. Swedish practice White Arkitekter’s Danish outpost were responsible for the design. A 100m long pier extends out from a newish beach into the Oresund, the narrow channel separating Denmark from Sweden. The pier docks with a sculptural, circular structure resembling a palisade. This encloses a generous area of water and is protected by the curved embrace of a windbreak. Rising from 1.5m to 8m at its highest point, the timber screen shelters bathers from the wind and also catches the afternoon sun.

Like an extended hand, the curved form opens up towards the landside, inviting and enticing bathers inside. Stairs and ramps lead down into the water, which varies in depth from 2-4 metres, and assorted tiers and benches provide convenient spots for sunbathing, diving and general convivial lounging. There are also changing rooms, with views out over the Oresund to the Swedish coast in the distance.

The entire structure is clad in thin strips of azobe timber, an especially hardy species resistant to the corrosive effects of sea water. The timber unifies the composition and is warm and soft underfoot.

The lighting has been added to emphasise the sculptural design. There are both LED spotlights along the bridge out to the ‘shell’, as well as upward-facing floodlights that illuminate the inside of the structure, producing a spectacular and beautiful effect at dusk and in the dark. Even at times when only winter bathers dare to enter the water.

Being free to the public, the architects hope that the pier will attract all kinds of people, from the young with more energetic sporty ambitions, to the elderly just wanting a quiet swim. Elegant and egalitarian, in that quintessentially Scandinavian way, the project shows how such an apparently simple structure can enhance the public realm.

via White Arkitekter | AR Award


Danny said...

For some reason it looks like something from the film waterworld. Fanastic design.