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Nishikyogoku Swimming Pool Complex

Collaborated with Mitsuru Senda


Location: Kyoto, Japan

Use: Swimming Pool, Health and Fitness Center

Site area: 36,000 ㎡

Total floor area: 30,586 ㎡

Structure: Reinforced concrete structure

Year: 2002

This swimming pool complex is a sports facility located in Nishikyōgoku, Kyōto. The project required a building complex built around a swimming pool with a total floor area of 30,000 square meters on a 36,000-square-meter lot. 

The lot is relatively small and the building would have crammed it almost entirely with no green if everything had been built on a single floor. In addition, the surplus soil from constructing the basement machine room was estimated to be 90,000 cubic meters, and if the average floor height of this building was set at 6 meters, its total volume was to be roughly 180,000 cubic meters. Comparing the soft and deformable surplus soil to the “roux” of a pot of stew and the building’s volume to its “additional ingredients,” the total 270,000 cubic meters of this stew formulates a “universal form” as the totality of half-architecture and half-landform. 

The basic concept of this particular design comes from the notion that a universal form can make the whole architectural volume more flexible to meet the requirements from both liaison context and the given program without causing any more destruction to the natural environment by discarding the surplus soil.

Apart from the swimming pool, the institute is comprised of a children’s pool, sports gym, outdoor gateball field, and an indoor parking space. The main arena has a seating capacity of 2,200, a 50-meter-long main pool for international competitions, and a diving pool. The main pool also has a movable floor and is designed to become a skating rink during the winter. Since these pools require their water temperature to be maintained throughout the year, a solar panel system has been established on the rooftop to create warm water, which allows thermal management. Moreover, because the rooftop load will be greater due to water pumping, an isolation system has been installed on the apex of the columns to improve seismic performance. Likewise, this project actively makes use of natural energy; apart from the solar panel system above the main pool, the children’s pool also has its own solar cell panel on the roof. Additionally, rainwater is collected, filtered, and sterilized in the basement water tank to be used for sprinkling the garden, washing the toilets, and for the cooling towers. 

This project aims to create a universal form—a new body composed of architecture and landform that will demonstrate the mediation between form and function as well as contribute to the culture of ecological transition of our age.

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