Syrdall Schwemm Recreational Baths
C.N.I. Syrdall Schwemm Recreational Baths
in Niederanven / Luxembourg
Design: 4a Architekten
The new Syrdall Schwemm school and recreational baths in Niederanven has numerous attractions to offer, not only with its extensive range of bathing options – the sight of the distinctively designed building alone is food for discussion. Iridescent gold, its dynamic structural shape attracts attention from a distance while still fitting in harmoniously with its surroundings.
The new school and recreational baths is situated in a beautiful landscape, a valley basin with a steep north hillside location and a slope of around 14 metres. At the point where the village meets the countryside, it marks the end of the build-up area. Freely arranged in its immediate vicinity are located a school centre, a retirement home, the town hall and a business centre. The community wished as far as possible to retain the character of the natural environment and to make it tangible in the building itself. The architects captured the particular topographical features of the location, reflecting it in the architecture of the new recreational baths. With its compact, dynamic structural shape, the building integrates gently into its setting, its large-surface glazing simultaneously corresponding with the surrounding countryside. The transparent character of the recreational baths creates a fluid transition between indoor and outside space, its golden exterior façade relating to the property’s description “On the Sand”.
The spacious and transparently designed entrance hall to the baths gives a clear view into the bathing area, while its various gastronomic offerings entice visitors to linger awhile. All of the baths’ functional areas can be accessed from here. The changing areas are arranged over two floors: single changing rooms for recreational bathers are situated on the ground floor, while the upper floor accommodates changing rooms for school classes and clubs. This spatial separation provides for clear routes for visitors as well as equalizing the flow of visitors. The upper floor also houses the sauna wing. This can be accessed either from the foyer or via a gallery from the bathing hall. The compact and dynamic form of the building can also be experienced in the bathing hall. With its spacious and airy design, the visitor has a clear overview of the various functional areas and can easily orientate himself. The individual pools are simply and clearly shaped and are organized in accordance with their function: the large swimming pool is linked to the changing and shower rooms, while the recreational and children’s pools as well as access to the outdoor pool are arranged along the south and west façade, which is glazed to the height of the storey. Due to the incline of the plot, this adventure area is at a higher level than the sports pool, so that the different areas are already zoned off due to the incorporation of the topography in the interior.
The transparent design of the bathing hall not only allows generous amounts of light to enter far into the foyer, but also offers a 360° panoramic view into the scenic surrounding countryside. The filigree, façade-high glazing was developed as a post and mullion construction with an interior supporting steel structure and large-format panels. Vertical flat steel bars form the supporting elements of the façade structure. The flat steel bars are inclined slightly inwards, so reducing the room volume in the upper area of the swimming hall. Horizontal flat-steel girders are stretched between the vertical profiles. Positioned in front of the supporting structure is a slim steel post and mullion construction consisting of T-bars, so that incoming air flowing in from below can spread unimpeded along the surface of the façade.
The particular highlight and constitutive element in the bathing hall is the tube slide. While the starting and finishing point – a distinctively designed spiral staircase and the catch pool – is located in the bathing hall, the slide penetrates the south façade at two points and snakes its way down on the outside. This is a striking example of how aesthetics can be combined with function in a natural way. The spiral staircase of the slide not only has an unusual design but at the same time also serves as an exhaust air funnel for the ventilation system.
Two staircases in the bathing hall lead up to the gallery on the upper storey, which widens like a brace along the north and east façade of the building. To the west, the gallery leads to an outdoor terrace where the visitor can retire and relax in a tranquil atmosphere. Facing diagonally opposite at the other end of the brace is the sauna wing. With its steam bath, Finnish sauna, cold-water area, multi-sensory shower, foot-warming tub, relaxation room, an outdoor sauna equipped with a large outdoor garden, the sauna landscape offers a comprehensive range of attractions, appealing to visitors with its spatial quality. The architects modelled the outdoor area of the sauna landscape into the adjacent slope in such a way that the building flows into the landscape, part of this providing an opportunity for all the senses to recuperate – both inside and out. The harmony of form and functionally well-prepared planning of the recreational baths are rounded off by a friendly interior design characterised by fresh, strong colours and warm materials. Drops and circles are a constantly recurring element. This can be seen, for example, in the design of the ceiling, where the view of the bathing hall from below is dissected into colourful surfaces derived from circles, as well as in the control system and even in individual accessories such as mirrors and lights.
Along with the client’s desire for a modern and family-friendly baths, optimizing the building’s use of energy was a key area of concern at the planning stage. The focus lay on minimizing the consumption of energy and water, preventing draughts in the façade area and on protecting the building from overheating during the summer. The heat supply is therefore provided by a local heating network that is fed from the existing cogeneration plant, while the technical plants have been minimized and optimized. Lighting and ventilating the building using largely natural means was also an important factor. The large-surface glazing towards the south and west ensures maximum solar energy yields, while a high standard of insulation reduces transmission and ventilation
requirements. The hall can be aerated and de-aerated naturally through apertures in the façade and through light domes. This efficient form of transverse ventilation protects the bathing hall from overheating in the summer, while saving the drive energy required to run the mechanical ventilation system. Heat recovery systems with minimum power and energy requirements as well as maximum efficiency were used in all systems. All ventilation systems likewise have internal heat recovery with a level of efficiency of 60-75% (plate heat exchangers). With the exception of the cold-water pool, the bathing water plants were fitted with heat recovery systems in order to pre-heat the required freshwater protection. In addition, the bathing water is treated primarily with ozone – only during peak hours during the summer is the water chlorinated.
The new sports and recreational baths is therefore an eye-catcher not only from the outside. Both the client and visitors are delighted with the ideal interplay between user-orientated architecture and a high-quality atmosphere, the harmonious choice of materials and, not least, the optimization of energy.
C.N.I. Syrdall Schwemm Recreational Baths – Building Information
Location: Niederanven / Luxembourg
Client: C.N.I. Syrdall Schwemm 18, Rue d’Ernster L-6977 Oberanven / Luxembourg
Architect: 4a Architekten GmbH Matthias Burkart Alexander von Salmuth Ernst Ulrich Tillmanns Hallstrasse 25 D-70376 Stuttgart
Associates: Kai Senner (project management) Johannes Weiß (competition) Barbara Croonenberg Meike Große Patricia Löw Christoph Schäfer
Project controlling: Drees & Sommer Luxembourg 6c, Parc d’Activité Syrdall L-5365 Munsbach / Luxembourg
Site management: HW Ingenieur Consult GmbH Joseph-von-Fraunhofer-Str. 4 D-53501 Grafschaft-Ringen
Building physics: Kurz und Fischer – Consultant Engineers Brückenstraße 9 D-71364 Winnenden
Structural planning: Schroeder et Associes 8, Rue des Girondins L-1626 Luxembourg / Luxembourg
Building services engineering: Felgen et Associes 14, Rue Robert Stümper L-2557 Luxembourg / Luxembourg
Landscape planning: Jetter Landschaftsarchitekten Hermannstraße 5a D-70178 Stuttgart
Planning & construction period: 03/2007 – 11/2010
Construction costs: approx. 12 million euros net
Gross floor area: approx. 5,300 m²
Gross floor: area/m2 (cost type 300 + 400 approx. 2,300.- Euro net)
Gross cubic volume: approx. 33,185m³
Gross cubic volume/m3: (cost type 300 + 400 approx. 360.- Euro net)
Service phases: (HOAI) 1 to 9
Photographs: Vic Fischbach Alexander von Salmuth, 4a Architekten
Syrdall Schwemm Recreational Baths Luxembourg images / information from KCAP