HI-MACS Inside Renovated 'Tournesol' Swimming Pool

John Hill
25. November 2015
Photo: Jean-Baptiste Dorner

Strasbourg's Urbane Kultur has renovated one of France's "1,000 Pools" from 40 years ago, a distinctive dome set in the townscape. The dark exterior gives way to a light and bright interior covered partially with HI-MACS® acrylic stone.

Project: Restoration and extension of the Tournesol pool in Lingolsheim - STRASBOURG
Location: Lingolsheim (Strasbourg) - France | Architects: Urbane Kultur - architects Philippe Dahan, Dominique Cornaert, Piotr Janski and Amaury Sigwarth | Material: HI-MACS® Alpine White | More project credits at bottom.

From the mid-1970s to the early 1980s nearly 200 pools were built in French towns as part of a program of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Recreation. Bernard Schoeller designed a number of the pools, including one for Lingolsheim that went by the name "Tournesol" (Sunflower), since the self-supporting steel structure opened like petals during favorable weather. Some decades later the pool needed some refurbishment, so an architecture competition was organized for the building's renovation and expansion.

Before the refurbishment (Photo: Philippe Schalk - Communauté Urbaine de Strasbourg – Urban Kultur)

Strasbourg's Urban Kultur won the competition with a design that maintained the structure and form of the original building and added a boomerang-shaped entrance building to the northeast, with a patio between the two. The dome's steel structure, concrete foundation and 25-meter lap pool were maintained, but the rest was rebuilt to become more energy efficient and allow the sliding mechanism to continue working. The sliding structure opens up away from the addition to a south-facing patio that is an extension of the pool deck. Further, the changing rooms were demolished and made part of the addition so two new small play pools accompany the lap pool under the dome.

Model
(Photo: Philippe Schalk - Communauté Urbaine de Strasbourg – Urban Kultur)
The furniture in the reception area (bench and counter) and the sinks in the sanitary facilities were also made with HI-MACS®. (Photo: Jean-Baptiste Dorner)
Photo: Jean-Baptiste Dorner

HI-MACS® acrylic solid surface was used for the underside of the UFO-like dome's structure, where it "was thermoformed into a double curvature to merge with the existing structure and clad the arched forms," per the manufacturer's literature. Specifically, the application is Alpine White HI-MACS® panels that were arched and assembled by ADJ France. Stretched canvas merges with the acrylic surfaces to complete the underside, punctuated by openings covered with resin that let in overhead light.

Photo: Jean-Baptiste Dorner

Covered in black rubber and a random grid of skylights on the outside, the dome exudes a strong alien presence in its setting. Inside the white surfaces, including the HI-MACS®, give the playful spaces a sense of calm that is appropriate for a pool.

Site plan
Floor plan

PROJECT CREDITS
Project: Restoration and extension of the Tournesol pool in Lingolsheim - STRASBOURG
Location: Lingolsheim (Strasbourg) - France
Inauguration: 2014 (in September, following 16 months of renovation work)
Area: 1790sq.m
Contracting authority: Communauté Urbaine de Strasbourg
Architects: Urbane Kultur - architects Philippe Dahan, Dominique Cornaert, Piotr Janski and Amaury Sigwarth
Distributor: ASKA interior 
HI-MACS® Production: ADJ
Material: HI-MACS® Alpine White 
Landscaping: Bruno Kubler
Structure: Structurest
Cost efficency: Les Economistes
Fluids engineer: SNC Lavalin
CPM: C2Bi
Acoustics: Euro Sound Project

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