The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Thursday, 14 December 2017 01:00

Hong Kong’s new swimming complex has been likened to a futuristic spaceship

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Last February, the futuristic Kennedy Town Swimming Pool (KTSP) -located in an historic Hong Kong neighborhood- was completed. The new civil and recreation hub, built beside Victoria Harbour, now serves as an icon for the community, and has helped rejuvenate a neglected district of otherwise vibrant Kennedy Town. Designed by Farrells, KTSP has won a 2017 American Architecture Prize in the Recreational Architecture category.

The impressive structure, with a gross floor area of 11,782 m2, was constructed in two phases: the first part opened to the public in May 2011 and comprises a 50-metre outdoor pool and a smaller leisure pool, both with magnificent views of Victoria Harbour and Belcher Bay Park. The second phase, which started after the nearby railway line was completed (and opened) in 2014, included the construction of two indoor pools, a Jacuzzi and an outdoor garden sheltered beneath the tip of the building’s characteristic roof. It was completed in February 2017.

KTSP owes its distinctive shape to the triangular site, and although it has been likened to a futuristic spaceship by the local media, it was originally inspired by a shell. The orientation of the outdoor pool maximizes views of Victoria Harbor, while shielding swimmers from the noise of the main bus and tram routes to the east. Its roof is made of sweeping zinc, an ideal material for a building constructed in two phases with a six-year gap in between, as natural zinc has the ability to form a natural patina that protects it from rust and corrosion and makes it resistant to weather conditions.  

Key criteria for the selection of materials for the facade, window walls and roof were light weight, long spans, transparency, natural light and excellent performance against solar gain. Laminated glass with a high performance PVB layer was chosen for window walls while insulated PTFE membrane was used for the roof light, flooding the indoor pool hall with natural light. Operable windows allow for natural ventilation of indoor spaces, reducing reliance on air conditioning.

The KTSP has been featured in a variety of publications including Architects’ Journal, HKIA Journal, Dezeen, HK01, and Archdaily. It also won Large Project of the Year 2016 (awarded by the New Engineering Contract (NEC) of the United Kingdom’s Institution of Civil Engineers), and the 2017 American Architecture Prize  in the Recreational Architecture category. “We have been working in Kennedy Town now for nearly a decade,” commented Stefan Krummeck, a director at the architecture and urban design firm Farrells. “This is one of the most exciting and characterful districts in Hong Kong, and we sought to contribute to that by designing this pool as a new community hub with a dynamic architectural form.”

Source: v2com newswire


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