Volume 28, Issue 4 - July/August 2014


Pool House Rock

Who doesn’t love a dip in a pool on a warm, sunny day? But when it’s a dreary, rainy day, summer activities are sometimes limited. A recently completed pool house located in Ismaning, Germany, provides a lot to offer—even if the sun is not shining. Designed by prpm Architekten+Stadtplaner GmbH, based in Munich, Germany, the indoor swimming pool features a unique ambience made possible by the free form of its swung glass façade, which incorporates glass from Okalux GmbH, interplaying between transparent, translucent and opaque elements.

The new indoor pool is located on a park-like property in the center of the community, near the school building and the community center. It was the location that prompted prpm architects to develop a free form building structure, which is a variation of concave and convex shell areas. The design allows the surrounding space to flow around the free form, meshing the building within the green area. The design intent was to allow the volume of the pool to seemingly dissolve when perceived from the outside.

The swung glass façade corresponds perfectively to its location in the park, giving the pool the openness and lightness of a large pavilion. This effect is intensified in the interior through the column-free, wide-span construction. Within the swimming hall, skylights in the roof were installed to ensure generous incidental daylight is carried down to the depths of all the rooms. The gallery on the first floor offers views of the swimming basins in the hall, as well as access to the sun terrace.

The surrounding glass façade of the indoor pool stands as a self-supporting steel structure. In addition to the swung form of the architecture, the many glass elements incorporated into the project help create a distinctive appearance. The glazing was used to provide various light translucencies, as well as a playful arrangement in the façade ensemble. The pool house features a composition of transparent, translucent and opaque elements. These design elements give the surrounding building shell transparency and openness where desired, while at the same time also protecting other areas from views from the outside. For these sections, white screenprinting was used to provide opacity. This, according to Okalux, helps add strong accents to the rhythmical façade ensemble while serving as opaque coverings of the construction elements behind it.

The project also features the company’s light diffusing insulating glass called Okalux K. According to the company, capillary glass helps to not only provide an optimal distribution of light, but also create a unique interior atmosphere. The tubes help diffuse the incidental daylight evenly and glare-free deep into the interiors, creating optimal light conditions in the building. Even sensitive areas such as the interior sauna receive an abundance of light. In this instance, the capillary slab is inserted in the cavity of the Okalux functional glass, helping to ensure maximum privacy.

With this unique pool house project, the interaction of the building form and the façade design help create a harmonious setting that allows the new construction to blend easily into the surroundings in perfect congruence with the proportions of the landscape. AGG


Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
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