Basel is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting destinations when it comes to planning a trip to discover a region with good architecture. This Swiss city and its immediate surroundings have numerous outstanding pieces of work, both in terms of design and execution. Herzog & de Meuron were behind a project on the banks of the River Wiese that is a magnificent exponent of this and that is reminiscent of the old baths that once stood on the riverbank, very near its confluence with the Rhine.
The Swiss studio decided to abandon the concept of a conventional pool in favor of a project closer to nature, with the help of biological filters. This approach was was publicly discussed by the citizens of Riehen and officially approved by a municipal vote. The citizens now have a large lake with planted filtering cascades, an adaptation of the local baadi, traditional wooden Rhine-side baths.
A large wooden wall on one side shelters a solarium 200 meters long with recliners, whilst the other side (on the side of the river) is open, hemmed in by a bushy hedge. There is just one small building that houses the entrance and the supporting facilities.
The heart of the project is the bathing pond in the middle of the site. The biological water treatment basins are embedded in the sloping landscape on the opposite side of the road. In terms of ecological cleaning capacity, the baths are designed to accommodate 2,000 bathers per day. Together with various leisure facilities found here, they form a recreational area open all year round to the local population.
Laird Hamilton has surfed monster waves. The biggest and most dangerous there are. Raging waters that can only be reached by helicopter, in inflatable boats or on a water scooter. To reach these milestones when there still weren’t any rules, Hamilton started out by surfing on a board with a paddle to help him improve his performance. He had created the modern version of stand up paddling (SUP).
This sport became a core part of his training and enabled him to surf waves of up to 30 meters high, such as those in Jaws, on this island of Maui (Hawaii), which turned him into a legend of the world of surfing. “Nothing makes you stronger for surfing the biggest waves than stand up paddling. It gives your legs, feet and toes stability and strength”. These were his words in an interview for the specialized magazine Standup Journal, where he also described how people asked themselves what sport it was when first they saw him in Ho’okipa (Hawaii).
Stand up paddling, a sport without limits
Since then, Hamilton has demonstrated that there are no limits to doing SUP and has crossed the high tides of Turnagain Arm in Alaska, the Grand Canyon, the English Channel and he has gone around all of the islands in the Hawaiian archipelago. SUP, which was almost discovered by accident, is now more popular than ever and the types of board depend on the activity to be done on them: yoga, long-distance paddling, down-river runs, riding the waves, etc., on both the open sea and inland waterways.
To break into the world of SUP, we recommend starting in calm waters such as in a pool, as it is a confined space that provides the safety required during the first days of training, because the wind and adverse weather conditions can make the water almost impossible to navigate. When you start to build up confidence in flat water, we would encourage you to try it out in surf wave pools!
Other top tips, according to Laird Hamilton, are to find a good instructor, to be familiar with the places where you paddle, to keep safe and to have as much fun as possible: “Go out with a smile and respect the ocean or whatever water you find yourself doing SUP in”. Ready to give it a try?
Did you know that a badly designed lighting system can also make a pool unsafe? Would you like to find out how to illuminate one so that the play of light on water can make it even more spectacular? Do you know what the latest trends are? Halogen or LED spotlights? We’ve got the answers!
A pool with well designed lighting is safer and more efficient
Before fitting lighting in a pool, we recommend checking out which places could be more dangerous in the dark. Steps, edges, benches and slopes should always be visible, including at the dead of night. Look closely at your pool’s floor plan, pick out these areas and weigh up the possibility of fitting spotlights with brighter light specially designed for small spaces.
A properly lit pool is environmentally friendly
Compared with halogen lights, the latest in underwater LED lighting design prevents environmental light pollution and enhances energy efficiency.
Indeed, AstralPool’s LumiPlus range has become the world leader in pool lighting because of its innovation, functionality and eco-friendliness. Specifically, the LumiPlus Design spotlight points downwards to the pool floor to prevent it from causing outdoor light pollution. What’s more, this model improves luminous efficiency by 40% compared with the most commonly available solutions.
The latest trends enable lighting to be remotely controlled
Once safe, efficient lighting has been put in, it’s time to think about how to make your pool even more spectacular! Connected pools now make it possible to change the color of lights with a remote control. The LumiPlus Control Motion remote control is sensitive to the slightest movement so that when it is in a vertical position the lights change color, whilst when it is horizontal the color sequences change.
In Franck Bohbot’s pictures, everything looks set to become a memorable film location: glass lamps shine in his spaces, the floor is recently waxed, natural lighting flows through the outsized windows and the classy ceilings speak to the enormity of architecture and history. His series also feature the most stunning pools in Paris. That’s because, if there’s one thing that fascinates this Parisian-born photographer it’s “water and the way it interacts with people and their built environment”.
The pools shot by Bohbot are mostly covered spaces that seem designed to coincide in the use of their colors: yellow, orange, white, and blue. His Swimming Pool series won the International Photography Award in 2013 and caught the eye of leading professionals in the world of art, fashion, and journalism. Today he documents life in New York, the city where he lives, and is a regular contributor to The New York Times.
La Butte aux Cailles Pool
This pool opened in 1924 and is distinguished by its surprising 55-foot-high vaulted ceiling. It was the first pool in Paris where you could swim outdoors, in 28º C water taken from an artisan well. Following a recent overhaul, this Art Nouveau multicolored pool has recovered the comprehensive white of its original construction without losing a whit of its charm.
Classified as a historical landmark from the Art Deco period, Pailleron Pool wows visitors with its extensive ceiling that lets the natural light in and the old changing rooms on the top two floors.
This large pool hosts numerous swimming championships in France and because it is a perfect place to hold sporting events it was proposed as part of Paris’s bid for the 2024 Olympic Games.
Pontoise Pool is the ideal choice for people after a night-time dip. You can swim to classical music until nearly midnight in this unique construction which first opened in 1933 and that is lit by tenuous lights when it starts to get dark
Leveraging a privileged location, a new block of luxury apartments went up in El Poblado, Medellin, one of the 16 communes of Colombia’s most populous city after the capital Bogota, and which has become a residential area for Colombian high society.
Despite its height, the gesture produced in the facade, with some of the floor volumes carefully displaced, makes it possible to acknowledge the Energy Living building as a groundbreaking milestone on the city skyline. The 21 x 21 meter-long floors house 71 apartments between 53 and 130 sq meters which, on the22nd level, enjoy a floor with a fantastic jacuzzi and a pool in harmony with the environment through a large glass window that boasts views to the city.
A pool with panoramic views
The basic idea for this project involved superimposing rectangular prisms which would be piled on top of each other to face different parts of the city in a panoramic fashion: toward the mountains that make up the valley and the conurbation along its central axis. This feature makes it possible to provide three different apartment models which guide the view respectively from east to west, north to south, or in 360º.
The groundbreaking blueprint has also been achieved inside because the spaces are planned to encourage different room designs. The views are impressive from them all. The decks, balconies, and strategically positioned picture windows in each apartment are, together with the top floor, the most attractive elements of this construction. Repetition is key at the Energy Living building.
On the first floor of the building and via the lobby you can also access a restaurant open to the city, lounges, and admin areas. The company behind the project is M+ Group, a multidisciplinary team of architects, engineers, designers, and specialists in the creation and development of property products, whose central office is also based out of Medellin.
Earth Day was celebrated on April 22. Since 1970, this day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern ecological movement and brings a great opportunity to reflect on the importance of the environment and to raise awareness around sustainable water management. Like every year, Fluidra joined in the celebration. Continue reading “Being sustainable is always a good idea”
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