The Municipality of Zalaegerszeg and the Government of Hungary concluded a cooperation agreement within the Modern Cities Programme to implement several development goals, amongst other the improvement of the existing municipal swimming pool facilities. The overhaul includes the expansion of the last with a 50 m long, 10 lane covered pool and a separate pool for beginners.
Since the town of Zalaegerszeg has one operating swimming pool at the currently, an appropriate facility must be guaranteed for the athletes of the local sport clubs, and for the patients in need of therapeutic swimming sessions in the construction phase as well. This need resulted decisive while devising the project documentation. Finally, the works has been broken down into two stages, where the outdoor pool is built first with its own swimming pool technology, heatable cover and a changing room/shower unit. Once this is completed, the existing building is pulled down and the new building with the 50 m pool and the pool for beginners becomes risen.
FORMING THE EXTERIOR
The new facility adds a fresh new character, sleek and simple design to the complexion of the recreation area of the town. The shaping of the building mass and facade creates a transition between the multi-storey apartment blocks on the opposite side of Göcseji road, and the neighbouring suburban buildings.
The volume of the building mass is approximately equal to the existing one. However, its architectural and structural design is simpler, in line with the design programme and current streams, the result is a more representative complex. Its architectural design has two definite directions: on the one hand, it is playful and in flow like the functions that houses -sport and recreation- on the other hand the various units are formed in a way to ease visitors’ navigation inside the complex. The idea of flowing appears also in the use of glass surfaces forming a solid wall, which create a pleasant atmosphere inside via the intense visual connection to the outdoor pools.
The used facade materials have been chosen in order to allow for the minimum maintenance and investment cost. The playful and light character of the competition pool’s facade is counterpointed by the cubic, block-like annex -that houses the service functions- which with its light, plastered walls appears to be a more massive unit.
Adapting to the features of the site, the building we designed forms an L-shaped block along the planned outdoor pool. Thanks to the backfilling of the pool’s area, a mezzanine floor was shaped. As a result, there are three functional levels in use: the basement, which mostly houses the mechanical systems, the pool level with mixed functions and the grandstand for spectators.
Visitors can reach the entrance via Mártírok road and Göcseji road corner while the staff use the Mártírok road and Botfy Lajos road corner to access the facility. The staff entrance opens to a spacious passage with direct connection to the staff changing rooms, storage areas and spaces for mechanical systems. Through the glass front of the main entrance, you enter the lobby that is directly connected to the ticket office and the cloakroom downstairs. From here you can access the grand and spacious lobby of the pool level through a vertical circulation core.
In the south pool area, there is a 50 m competition pool, and the related service functions. There is a wellness area, supply rooms, and spaces for lifeguards, first aid and competition officials adjacent to the pool area. These are located in the west wing of the building, together with the 10×16 m pool for beginners. Changing rooms for visitors wet rooms attached are also on this level.
A large gym and changing rooms for groups are located on the top floor. The grandstand with a capacity of 274 persons is also here.