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Beton Schwimmbad

Darmstadt, Germany
1 of 4

This outdoor swimming pool in Darmstadt is an exercise in tectonic eloquence, a seamless integration of making and thought.

The project's aim was simple but complex: to eliminate any trace of structural expression in order to maximise the visceral impact of the white cast in-situ concrete. This was achieved using a bespoke steel frame, which encased the shuttering during construction; there is no evidence of shuttering joints or anchor points, just a smooth white surface, articulated within a classic orthogonal form.

The outdoor flooring specification is the same as the adjoining living room: Italian coquina stone slabs. These generate a warm, cohesive ambience throughout, as well as providing an all-important slip-resistant surface around the edge of the pool. In addition, a fully retractable safety pool cover, accessed from a hidden slot, provides peace of mind.

The connectivity between the indoor and outdoor spaces is further articulated by the alignment of the flooring joints and how the respective off-white shades of internal plaster and external render correspond. Both wall treatments harmonise with the colour, depth and texture of the stonework. Within this dynamic, the scheme's subtle integrated lighting highlights the project's core qualities: structural rigour, timeless geometric proportions and exacting materiality.

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graemedrussell, January 11th, 2017
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