Often referred to as the “Nobel Prize of architecture”, since 1979 the Pritzker Awards annually recognise the outstanding career of an international architect. Today we take a look at three pools designed by architects who have won one of these prestigious awards.
This selection includes the reinterpretation of an unfinished project by Mies van der Rohe, a leading sports centre and a spa complex that serves as an ode to wellness.
Sagaponac House, Shigeru Ban
Shigeru Ban began with a series of unfinished sketches by Mies van der Rohe in 1924 to design the Sagaponac House. Located on Long Island (New York), the house features an elegant outdoor swimming pool and plays with subdued colours and geometric forms to create functional open spaces. Shigeru Ban received the Pritzker in 2014. Other notable works by the Japanese architect are the Centre Pompidou-Metz in France and the Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Parc Esportiu Llobregat, Álvaro Siza Vieira
In 2004 Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira designed one of the most spectacular sports centres in Europe, the Parc Esportiu Llobregat in Cornella (Barcelona). The 1,700 m2 complex features large blocks of white concrete and includes two pools. The indoor pool, protected from the elements by glass and reminiscent of an urban beach, is flooded with natural daylight that enters through the skylights in the roof. Vieira won the Pritzker in 1992. Other memorable work by Vieira includes the Piscinas das Marés swimming facility in Porto.
Therme Vals, Peter Zumthor
Peter Zumthor was the designer behind the Therme Vals hotel and spa located in the Canton of Graubünden (Switzerland). The Swiss architect designed this space as a cave, seamlessly integrating the structure into the hillside on which it is perched. Visitors to the Therme Vals spa complex are treated to the utmost luxury as they pass through the spa’s various baths (with temperatures ranging from the 14ºC “ice pool” to the 42 ºC “fire pit”). Awarded the Pritzker in 2009, Zumthor is also responsible for designing the Kunsthaus Bregenz.