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18 Jul 2018

OOPEAA to create floating swimming pools and spas for coastal cities
BY Luke Cloherty

Finnish architects Oopeaa have won a competition to design and create floating sea pools for public use in coastal cities and towns around the world

Finnish architects Oopeaa have won a competition to design and create floating sea pools for public use in coastal cities and towns around the world

Finnish architects OOPEAA have won a competition to design and create floating sea pools for public use in coastal cities and towns around the world, with the first to be rolled out in Oulu in the north of Finland.

Following a pilot project in Helsinki in 2016, city development and investment group Töölö Urban ran the competition in April 2018 to commission a firm to design the Allas Sea Pools. OOPEAA’s entry was selected as the winner, in part due to its flexible building system.

The future sea pools will be built on floating platforms on coastal sites in places where it is not possible to build on land. Two structures either side will contain spa and sauna facilities and a restaurant and cafe, respectively, along with informal gathering areas and other public spaces.

The architectural concept is “scalable and applicable to any site in the world” according to OOPEAA, with the floating platforms varying in size from 2,000sq m to 10,000sq m (21,500sq ft to 107,600sq ft).

Designed to "activate people’s relationship to the waterfront and by providing a comfortable and inviting atmosphere," the concept includes a 'custom toolbox' allowing for variables such as “customer needs, seasonal changes and local requirements”, so that each build is adaptable, while still keeping some construction uniformity.

The timber structure is partly constructed out of cross-laminated timber (CLT) elements, which OOPEAA said is an “ecological choice that allows for flexibility in application as well as for sustainability in the life cycle of the building”.

The winning proposal pointed to the concept of “New Nordic Urban” as its thematic underpinning, defined as a sense of experience. "It brings together the Nordic sensibility for the contemplation on nature with a healthy orientation towards physical activity and an urban inclination towards the social aspects of life,” the architects explained.

Allas Sea Pool is a product of collaboration between Töölö Urban, Bluet, Marinetek and several other operators. The Oulu project will complete in 2019.



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