Reinventing the community pool

Reinventing the community pool

Project: Atlas Tube Centre WFCU Pool

Interior Designer: Tarisha Dolyniuk, ARIDO

Design Firm: MJMA

Design Team:

The Town of Lakeshore is a rural community located on the south shore of Lake St. Clair, 15 miles east of Windsor and Detroit, MI. To provide wellness and cultural facilities for the growing residential population, the town planned the development of a community hub within a 100-acre sports park. The surrounding landscape is flat with vast views to the horizon lines of existing farmland, treed areas, and residential communities.

The WFCU Pool is a 25,000 square foot addition to the existing Atlas Tube Recreation Centre and Library. The program includes a 4-lane 25-metre lap pool and a social basin. A central lazy river connects to the warm water leisure basin. All water areas and depths are designed to align with the Town’s focus on instruction, family recreation, and the delivery of therapeutic and seniors programming. The new aquatic facility is fully accessible and inclusive. In addition to smaller gender-specific changerooms, a central gender-neutral universal changeroom is fully transparent to the pool deck and entrance corridor.

As an addition, the client requested a simple planning solution for ease of wayfinding and seamless connection to the existing building. The project was also mandated to capture a feeling of transparency and connection to the rural flat landscape. Finishes had to be durable and economic. Optimum control of solar glare and acoustical performance were required to promote safety and provide for a calm pool experience.

The pool basins are cut and carved into the ground plane to maintain deck level connections to existing topography and landscape. Each bar of the program – pool areas, community rooms, change rooms, and public corridor – are defined with limited but defining and cohesive material and finish relationships. A large folded wood plane encompasses the entire collection of program bars while creating overhangs to control natural daylight and solar glare. The folded plane is inscribed to allow for natural strips of light and views to the ever-changing rural sky above.

The floor material from the public lobby, to change rooms, to pool hall, is a deep charcoal forming a stone-like quality, connecting the concept of site and landscape beyond. The carved-out pool basins create a grotto-like quality as the aqua blue gem colour of the water plunges within a natural stone setting bed, encompassed by a wood canopy above. Continuous perimeter glazing further maintains the connection of the interior/exterior ground plane connecting the activities and events to landscape and views beyond.

The aquatic centre has sliding glass doors off the main pool hall for access to the park-side terrace, as well as natural ventilation opportunities. The wood ceiling is designed and detailed to provide optimal acoustical performance. An upper fascia of the changeroom areas is clad with a perforated acoustic panel system defining the white program bar of the changerooms and adding to the functional acoustic performance strategies of the space.