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Water Park Parkbad Volksdorf, Hamburg
Report

Water Park Parkbad Volksdorf, Hamburg

Be it all-weather pool, saline spa or sauna village – architectural firm bs2architekten in Hamburg designs structures with a focus on public baths and sports facilities, wellness and rehabilitation centres. A recent project of the firm involved the renovation of the historic Water Park Parkbad Volksdorf in Hamburg. The Compact downlight supplied by ERCO ensures optimum colour rendition with excellent glare control and low maintenance requirements.

Eleven public swimming pools that were built in Hamburg at the end of the 1970s were all of the same basic design. The facility in Volksdorf was the first to be constructed and opened some ten years before the others, in November 1970. Within a short time, a citizens’ group had collected around 500,000 German Marks (today around 250,000 Euros) to support the project, funding thirty to fifty per cent of the construction costs. Back then it was the largest citizens’ group of the ‘Walddörfer’ – an area combining several districts in the northeast of Hamburg – and so the indoor pool was initially called “Hallenbad Walddörfer”. At first, it only had one multi-purpose pool with diving boards. Other attractions such as the outdoor pool, whirlpool and a children’s area with turtles, octopuses and a pirate ship came later. The construction of a new sauna section is currently in the planning stage. Today, the Parkbad Volksdorf is operated by Bäderland Hamburg GmbH, attracting nearly a thousand visitors per day. After several decades of use, the facilities were due for a complete renovation.

Water Park Parkbad Volksdorf, Hamburg
Water Park Parkbad Volksdorf, Hamburg

Swimming under a canopy of leaves
Commissioned with the renovation, bs2architekten from Hamburg have been behind numerous projects involving swimming pools, sports facilities and rehab centres since 1949. With decades of experience, bs2architekten are expert at the construction of new facilities, and equally at projects involving refurbishment and upgrading, assessing the building fabric with an astuteness that translates into a fitting new design in keeping with the building character. The focal point for the architects in the renovation of the Parkbad Volksdorf was a “nature” theme – inspired by the green character of the surroundings, which adds to the identity of the district and is naturally incorporated in its development. “The theme of ‘swimming under a canopy of leaves’,” says Jörg Schulte of bs2architekten, “is designed to capture the emotions and atmosphere of the lush green setting outside and convey it to the visitors inside.” As a result, the tone of the facility is defined by a floor and wall design in close touch with nature, featuring stone-coloured tiles and wood panelling.

Water Park Parkbad Volksdorf, Hamburg
Water Park Parkbad Volksdorf, Hamburg
Water Park Parkbad Volksdorf, Hamburg
Water Park Parkbad Volksdorf, Hamburg

LED light moods inspired by nature
A primary requirement of the standards for lighting of a public pool is the illumination of the water surface without causing glare for competitive and leisure swimmers. The luminaires and technology must also be resistant to chlorine. In addition, bs2architekten were careful to extend the theme to the lighting design for the Parkbad Volksdorf, evoking a sense of nature. “Simulating the light moods dictated to us by nature,” says Jörg Schulte, “is perhaps the one task that many architects and designers before us endeavoured to achieve and that will continue to be the aim for many after us.” The luminaires needed to be integrated into the ceiling without appearing obtrusive. To emphasise the various nuances of the natural materials, the architects placed importance on light with excellent colour rendition. As a result, the decision was made to use the efficient and economical ERCO Compact downlights in various sizes and wattages. The contractor’s verdict rested on compelling experiences. “Downlights of the same range have already been used in smaller projects, and with excellent results,” explains Rolf Schneide, electrical engineer at Bäderland Hamburg GmbH. “Reason enough to test the same range with appropriately powerful luminaires in a larger swimming pool.”

Water Park Parkbad Volksdorf, Hamburg
Water Park Parkbad Volksdorf, Hamburg

Rising demands for brilliant colours in leisure facilities
Precise colour rendering, glare control and low maintenance are the primary issues, in the view of bs2architekten, that will continue to be a focal point for the building sector in the lighting of public swimming pools. “The rising demands of the customers placed on their leisure facilities require luminaires with good colour rendition and maximum glare control,” says Jörg Schulte. “High-quality and robust luminaires with a long lamp life are a key factor for operators to ensure minimum maintenance.” Good news in ERCO’s view: These requirements are fully met by the high-quality LED lighting instruments such as Compact – as demonstrated in exemplary fashion at the Parkbad Volksdorf.

Water Park Parkbad Volksdorf, Hamburg
Water Park Parkbad Volksdorf, Hamburg