Kastrup Sea Bath is one of many architectural gems of København’s Ørestad region. It is part of the Kastrup Strandpark waterfront park on the east coast of Amager. Conceived as a fully-accessible outdoor swimming facility, Kastrup Sea Bath transformed an overlooked brownfield site into one of Denmark’s most enchanting, recognisable and popular leisure destinations.
Affectionately known as ‘The Snail’, Kastrup Sea Bath consists of the pool enclosure, as well as a new beach and service building, complete with toilets and accessible changing room. The form was in response to the north-facing beach; a wooden pier stretches from shore and curves around to form a south-facing circular enclosure.
The pier gradually rises above the sea level and ends in a five metre diving platform. The circular shape creates a concentrated interior that provides shelter from the wind and the perfect retreat for swimming and sunbathing. A continuous bench runs along the pier, providing additional spaces for leisure and reflection.
Inclusion in 2005
Inclusion was an important part of the concept. Designed as an untraditional framework for outdoor sporting activities, Kastrup Sea Bath caters to peaceful evening swims, exercise or play, irrespective of age, or physical mobility needs. Ramps, and other special features allow less mobile visitors full access. All 870 square metres of wooden deck are at the visitors’ disposal. Kastrup is free of admission and open to the public at all times.
Designed for life
Kastrup’s dynamic sculptural form is a visible landmark from beach, sea and air. As a visitor moves around the bath, its silhouette constantly changes. The form itself is suggestive of an amphitheatre; from here, you can see and be seen; a rule worth being reminded of in busy communal pools.
Constructed from Azobé, this African hardwood was selected due to its remarkable longevity and aesthetic qualities. Azobé shares the same lifespan as steel and is resistant to rot and woodworm, ensuring that Kastrup will be enjoyed by several generations to come.
At night and during the long dark off-season, dramatic lighting emphasises the sculptural design, heightening the visitors’ aesthetic experience, as well as securing their safety. A series of large uplights illuminate the enclosure and is reflected from the interior walls, gently washing the whole basin space with warm white light. This warmth contrasts with the electric blue lighting behind the open staircase and diving platform. Dual lines of LED spotlights stud the pier walkway, facilitating easier navigation in the dark.
Kastrup Sea Bath has been awarded a “Honourable mention” at the Architectural Review Award for Emerging Architecture 2006. It was nominated for The Mies van der Rohe Award 2007 and won a Bronze medal and a special prize at the IOC/IAKS Award and IPC/IAKS Distinction in 2009.
Looking at current pictures of the bath in the social media, one has to say that the Kastrup Sea Bath would have deserved even more prizes.
White arkitekter AB