Schwaketenbad in Constance is the largest indoor leisure pool on Lake Constance. Attractively situated on the edge of the city, this new structure was constructed close to nature on the same site as the original indoor aquatic center that was destroyed in a large fire in 2015.
This lively aquatic landscape includes two 25-meter swimming pools, a non-swimmer’s pool with a slide, a toddler pool, a warm-water pool, a learning pool with a lifting floor, diving facilities, two giant slides, and a water playground. The ceiling heights vary to meet the needs of the different areas and help generate a fascinating, three-dimensional spatial composition which offers not only a feeling of security but also a large open area that encourages visitors to interact with one another. A harmonious arrangement of three roofs lends the building a sculptural flavor with an underlying sense of invitation.
Inside, these dynamically arranged roof surfaces mark out the various pool areas in a playful fashion without disturbing the aquatic landscape’s open nature. The arrangement of all the pools has been custom-tailored to suit the site’s unique location. In the center, we find a pool that invites swimmers to “get in a few laps.” The adjacent non-swimmer and toddler pools as well as the water playground face toward the southern facade. Here, we also find the food court and adjoining terrace and a grassy area for sunbathing. Guests find it easy to navigate this single-story swimming area located at ground level. Lightweight glass dividing walls delineate the quiet area, screen the slides’ landing area, and offer a high level of privacy for the learning pool and the second 25-meter swimmers’ pool.
The indoor leisure pool is notable not only for its sculptural roof design but also for the generous glass facades. They provide an unimpeded view of the surrounding greenery and impressive stock of trees. The deliberate use of natural materials—in the connecting wooden roof with its delicate, untreated squared spruce timbers or the near-natural beige of the floor of the baths, for example—creates a connection to the landscape of the adjacent Schwakaten and Mainau forests. Color accents are provided, for example, by the red heated benches, which articulate the space and the shiny blue mosaic tiles. The varying roof heights create bands of light that generate a particular atmospheric effect as the sun angles in.
For more information see the interview with Stefan Rappold.