Floating structure by White Arkitekter brings harbour swimming to a Danish island
A small town on the Danish island of Bornholm has become another destination for harbour swimming facilities, thanks to a series of new walkways and structures by Swedish firm White Arkitekter (+ slideshow).
With a nod to the growing trend for natural swimming pools, the town of Hasle commissioned White Arkitekter's Copenhagen office to create a harbour-side recreation area to cater for a growing number of seasonal tourists.
The Hasle Harbour Bath sits in one of the various basins that makes up the town's manmade harbour, which also supports ferry access, fishing and other local industries.
"With no natural harbour, the town's manmade harbour has been built up as a series of basins protected by granite breakwaters. While necessary, the barriers block views and restrict access to the open sea," explained White Arkitekter.
This prompted the team to design a facility that offers visitors a vantage point over the harbour, as well as different swimming and recreation areas.
The structure comprises a large wooden platform that floats in the water and a pair of towers that accommodate tiered bleacher-style seating areas.
"Designed to welcome all ages and abilities, the harbour bath encourages users to respond to the structure intuitively," said the architects.
With an area of 360 square metres, the floating platform contains two paddling pools that offer a safer option for younger children. It also frames swimming lanes in the surrounding waters.
The two stair towers rise up on either side of the platform. The largest of the pair reaches a height of six metres and supports two diving boards along one of its edges.
"Visitors are rewarded with views of the surrounding harbour, the sea beyond and the sunset," added the team.
A 25-metre-long ramp connects the structure with a landing point along the coastline.
Here, a small wooden shed clad with Azobé timber boards accommodates a sauna, toilet and outdoor changing area.
Harbour baths have become increasingly popular in Denmark ever since JDS Architects installed recreational facilities along Copenhagen's waterfront in 2002.
More recent examples include structures at Copenhagen's Kalvebod harbour and in the seaside town of Faaborg.
Hasle hopes to extend its facility in the future, with plans to add extra wooden decks to facilitate more activities around the breakwaters.
Photography is by Signe Find Larsen.