Sculpt(IT)'s The Badboot, Belgium's largest open-air swimming pool opens in Antwerp
The largest floating open-air swimming pool in the world, named The Badboot, has been officially declared open in Kattendijk Dock in Antwerp's Eilandje district, Belgium. The Badboot, the floating pool and events platform, as well as the boat restaurant, were designed by the architecture firm, Sculp(IT), also from Antwerp. The pool boasts an overall length of 120m, capable of holding up to 600 people at any given time.
A.G. Stadsplanning Antwepen (the Antwerp Planning Authority) organised a competition in August 2011 for the design and construction of a floating open-air pool under the sponsorship of the Alderman for Urban Development, Ludo Van Campenhout, A group of private investors contributed 80% of the private funding necessary for the project to goahead, and Belfius Bank contributed the remaining 20%.
The pool, which took only one year to complete, contains two event halls, a swimming pool, and a restaurant with a lounge terrace, all of which are open to the public. The pool’s builders KJ-Pools and Gstyle Systems have created the sensation where swimmers will feel as though they are swimming in the water of the dock, which is situated directly beneath the pool, 70cm below. The water is maintained at 28-29 degrees centigrade by a heat pump, and will be converted to an ice skating rink during the winter months
The interior is mainly white, but the furniture uses navy blue and bright red as a contrasting colour. “We also used wood to underscore the ship experience”, said architect, Pieter Peerlings. The design furniture in the restaurant and the plastic deck furniture are by Saelens Furniture. The pool showers were supplied by design brand Hansgrohe and are equipped with the EcoSmart system, meaning they consume up to 60% less water. The boat is mainly lit with LED lighting, by Modular Lighting Instruments, and using these instead of halogens means that the Badboot is able to save up to 85 % energy.
The pool also boasts a water-purifying reed bed, the first actively aerated reed bed in open air on the European continent. The waste water of the showers, toilets, the restaurant kitchen and the swimming pool’s wash are purified by it, developed in the frame of a partnership with an American company, Naturally Wallace, built by RietLand bvba. They manage to balance environmental care with aesthetic appeal; the entire reed bed is fitted with design lighting, which provides enjoyable views for visitors.