Innovative design brings international swimming to Rijeka
studio zoppini associati's design for a cutting edge swimming centre, just completed in Rijeka, has brought a new landmark to the Croatian city. Touted by the firm as one of the most advanced sporting facilities in Europe the 50 x 25 m pool can accommodate major competitions as well as everyday training and leisure.
A light and organic sliding roof made up of a series of delicate, intersecting leaves integrates into the surrounding landscape. Its undulating shape is derived from the need for natural interior lighting, solved not by creating surface openings, but by integrating the openings into the shape of the structure. The organic shape recalls the waves of the sea and the irregularity of the surrounding hills contributing to making the building part of the landscape. The facility's simple architectural concept also functions as integration: it has a solid base made of local stone which is part of the local tectonics. The walls have been built using local stone and landscaped in order to make them an integral part of the existing surroundings.
Two permanent grandstands have been placed on opposite sides of the pool. One stand holds 1,000 (public) spectators and the other holds 300 (athletes) spectators. The external terraces are built as a series of intersecting walls and planes. The main entrance lobby connects the piazza, the existing swimming pool, the new pool and the terraces, providing views of all of them.