After forty years, the Noorderparkbad in Amsterdam is the successor of the Floraparkbad.
Round and wavy shapes dominate in the swimming pool. These shapes make the surrounding park and the building flow smoothly together. Just like the former bathhouses in the neighborhood, the Noorderparkbad is supposed to be a meeting place. The swimming pool is the most sustainable one in the Netherlands, but that is not all: in May 2016, the Noorderparkbad was named winner of the Amsterdamse Architectuurprijs 2016. Both jury and audience were in complete agreement that the Noorderparkbad is the best Amsterdam building of 2015. And to make it all complete, the swimming pool received the prestigious title ‘most beautiful swimming pool in the world’ at pool exhibition Piscine Global in Lyon.
The communal pool fits perfectly in its environment thanks to the light and airy architecture, according to the jury of the Amsterdamse Architectuurprijs. ‘The wooden structure softens the transition between inside and outside and invites people to enter the softly waving pavilion, situated in the heart of the park.’ The design of the Noorderparkbad comes from the Architekten Cie in Amsterdam, commissioned by the municipality of Amsterdam. Vaessen Algemeen Bouwbedrijf in Raamsdonksveer was the contractor, Stef van Delft in Kaatsheuvel the façade fabricator and Kawneer in Harderwijk de system supplier.
A pavilion in the park The Architekten Cie designed the new Noorderparkbad in the shape of a pavilion that marks the main entrance of the renovated Noorderpark, to replace the outdated Floraparkbad. ‘By focusing on softening the transition between landscape and building and breaking down the typical scale of a pool accommodation, the Noorderparkbad aims to be a pavilion in the park’, says Branimir Medić of the Architekten Cie. The building connects to the architecture of the surrounding district with its rolling, brick facades, while the wooden supporting structure gives the interior a warm appearance. ‘The rounded volume and billowing rain curtain are the mediators between building and park. Two stacked volumes determine the shape of the building. By placing the top volume backwards, the building fits the scale of the environment. In addition, the setback makes sure that there is natural daylight deep into the building.’
Wavy rain curtain The most eye-catching element of the Noorderparkbad is the wavy rain curtain. According to Medić it is an educative element: ‘The curtain communicates how the swimming pool is connected to water. On a rainy day, the water flows like a trickling waterfall along the curtain, showing the visitor how rainwater becomes swimming pool water. On sunny days, the curtain glistens as a solidified waterfall, while on winter days, the ice crystals transform the building into an ice palace. In addition, the curtain theatrically marks the entrance of the swimming pool: it is being pulled up and guards the visitor inside the swimming pool.
The ambition of the municipality of Amsterdam was making a highly sustainable swimming pool. That ambition is reflected by all aspects of the building: the compact shape, the floor plan where the dressing rooms and offices are positioned like a warm coat around the swimming pools with high temperatures, the solar panels on the roof to warm the outside pools, and the rain curtain around the façade along which rain water can flow to an (underground) reservoir for future re-use.
Most beautiful swimming pool in the world Medić was present in Lyon to receive the prize for ‘most beautiful public swimming pool in the world’. Aside from this prize and the Amsterdamse Architectuurprijs 2016 the Noorderparkbad was also nominated for the BNA best building of the year 2016. The brand-new swimming pool, with a focus on sustainability, opened in April 2016 as successor of the outdated Floraparkbad. And that shows: compared to the old pool, the energy bill is lowered by 75%!
Sustainable products To contribute to the sustainable character of the swimming pool, aluminum windows, frames and entry doors of system supplier Kawneer are used. Stef van Delft Aluminum fabricated and mounted these. ‘We work exclusively with system supplier Kawneer and for the Noorderparkbad we used the RT 62 system. Because of the architectural demands, a special profile with a small sightline was developed for this project.’ In consultation with Kawneer’s Project Solutions department a special soultion was made that connects the aluminum frame directly to the timber support frame without transition, creating an invisible aluminum doorframe.
Kawneer’s RT 62 The insulated window and door system RT 62 from Kawneer is a modular built system. It consists of an inner and outer profile in which the several designs can be applied. Between the inner and outer profile, a large variety of services is possible. Different insulation values (standard, Reflex, HI+ with patented AlcoaTherm), fire resistant and burglar resistant services can be applied without having to compromise or adjusting the inner or outer profile. On the other hand, the outer profile can be adjusted with the design of your dreams, without having to compromise on the functional characteristics. All modular systems of Kawneer can be mutually combined. Also, the RT 62 offers a lot of design possibilities. For example, the standard design is possible, but also the GT 70 S renovation design, wood renovation or hidden vent. The small installation depth of only 62 mm makes the system suitable for residential, utility and renovation.
Collaboration Kawneer’s windows and doors are powder coated in the color RAL 8022. A two-layer system is used, where the windows and doors are treated according to Qualicoat Seaside. First, the aluminum was treated with a Chrome VI free pre-treatment, in which the aluminum was etched with a minimum of 2 g/m2, instead of the standard 1 g/m2. That offers extra resistance against corrosion and is especially desired in coastal areas, but in swimming pools with oxides in the air as well. Next, an epoxy polyester primer layer was applied, provided with a top coating in the color RAL 8022. The profiles were packed for transport to Stef van Delft, where they were assembled into the eventual windows and doors.
Apart from the façade frames, Stef van Delft also fabricated and mounted around thirty entry doors and inside window frames, also executed in the Kawneer RT-system. Van Delft: ‘For the inside window frames we developed a special detail, in consultation with the architect. Assembly was carried out in phases and has taken up, all in all, a week or four.’ The abnormal detail of the aluminum windows and frames shows how easy Kawneer products can be modified to the wishes of clients, architects or customers.