In northern Denmark, a standard municipal swimming pool is reimagined as a nature lover’s playground.
From pools and platforms to decks and diving towers, harbourside swimming facilities are common in Danish coastal towns. A few years ago, however, the city of Aalborg, Denmark’s fourth largest, decided on a more ambitious program when it came to one such amenity. Aiming to draw more visitors to the fjord on which the city sits, the local government chose Copenhagen architecture firm Adept to convert a typical municipal pool into a 24-hour park that affords direct contact with nature.
The recently opened result, executed with GHB Landscape Architects, is 15-hectare Vestre Fjord Park, an imaginative “learning and experience zone” that consists of five low-slung buildings on an isthmus dividing a basin and open-air pools on one side from open water on the other.
The buildings, which house clubhouses, a café, a sauna and a lifeguard office, are topped with green roofs and other soft surfaces. Decks and stairs link all the elements, providing, in Adept’s words, a “full experience” of the fjord.