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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Public Swimming Pool (Aquatic Center) in Djedeida, Tunisia by Philippe Barriere Collective (PB+Co)

January 25th, 2017 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: v2com

The 1000m2 aquatic complex includes a swimming pool, a hamman, a health club, and an organic cafe. It is an attractive and easily accessible center dedicated to bathing, swimming, and exercising, with flexible hours. It is also a place to relax and socialize with friends, to meet for informal meals and healthy snacks, play, and sun bathe.

Ancillary sports amenities adjoin the aquatic complex and encourage diverse sport practices and games in the middle of the rural park (football and handball fields with tennis courts, jogging, strolling, basketball).

Pool solarium opening to the central park and botanical garden, Image Courtesy © Ezzine Abderrahmen

  • Architects: Philippe Barriere Collective (PB+Co)
  • Project: Public Swimming Pool (Aquatic Center)
  • Location: Domaine de la Colline aux Oliviers – City of Jedaida. Manouba Governorate – Tunisia
  • Graphic Artist: Ezzine Abderrahmen.
  • Engineering Software: RhinoVAULT – Designing funicular form in Rhinoceros (Block Research Group BRG).
  • Client: Tunisian Republic, Manouba Governorate, Delegation of Jedaida.
  • Team: Philippe Barriere Collective (PB+Co), Adnen Ben Tanfous (Associate Partner), Aboudou Azize, Olawolé Marcos, Vicky Tessier, Samir Issad, Yosri Boukadida, David Boisseau, Wael Ben Mansour.
  • Private Investor : Société de promotion immobilière, Le Mont Fleury Groupe Bayahi.
  • Engineer: Tarek Ghorbel, Structural Engineer, SOGEP Batiment, Tunisia.
  • Date: 2016 – present

South East façade view of the organic café protected by parametric tensigeity brise soleil. View of collective gardens, Image Courtesy © Ezzine Abderrahmen

The 300m2 swimming pool basin is filled with natural recycled water. The rainwater coming down from the olive orchard hill, the roofs of the collective housing pavilions and other facilities is harvested, filtered, then purified by plants. This recycling process establishes an active dialogue between residents and local eco-system enriched by a newly introduced bio-diversity whose role is to ensure the upkeep of a  low maintenance, self-sustainable rural park, natural pool and botanical garden.

The pool construction materials are local rocks, gravel, field stones and larger demolition stones recovered from on site existing ruins. Construction does not necessitate concrete.

The 540m3 basin is filled with filtered rain water requiring no chemical addition (like chlorine or cyanuric acid) but only natural plants cultivated within the pool. The water is naturally cleaned by two types of plants through a purification (water lily, water hyacinth, phragmites australis, caltha palustris, menthe aquatic) and oxygenation processes (hippuris vulgaris, waterweed) then recycled and reinstated through a low energy consumption adjustable pump.

Image Courtesy © Ezzine Abderrahmen

The vaults will be erected by local masons using local materials. The roof is composed of three vaults. The main one spans the basin’s total length. The two smaller ones shelter lateral sides from adverse weather conditions. The Vaults parametric design and digital fabrication involve the use of RhinoVAULT software (Funicular Form Finding The Rhinoceros® Plug-In RhinoVAULT). It is a structural form using the Thrust-Network-Approach to intuitively create and explore compression-only structures.

The building is not totally confined by enclosed facades, instead, on its upper part, it is semi-open towards the outside. The interior floor level is sunk 1.50m from ground level. This solution reduces the need for exterior facades (lowering cost) meanwhile it welcomes the use of natural light and a mobile weather shield. The West facade is protected by a lightweight kinetic structure also using parametric design and parametric tensegrity. The heat produced for the hamman steam in late fall, winter, and early spring is recycled and redistributed throughout the floor and the low enclosure walls of the structure.

Philippe Barriere, Image Courtesy © Philippe Barriere Collective (PB+Co)

A lawn on the south side expands the pool towards the outside encourages outdoors games and sunbathing.

In the face of environmental crisis and globalization, architecture is becoming indispensable as an instrument to reconcile man with his (cultural, social and environmental) milieu, by either re-investing in this milieu to mitigate the structural deficiencies and/or by fostering its recovery. Taking this view, architecture is an ongoing experiment that constantly adjusts to contextual needs, implementing the new strategic and innovative interventions necessary to improve on man’s milieu; a process that redefines architecture.

This approach provokes architecture to become a threshold over which or, a ‘channel’ through which to renegotiate the relation between man and nature and a ‘focal point’ for reducing the imbalance between extremes (social and environmental). Architecture becomes second nature, man’s link between human nature, environment and society, guaranteeing equilibrium and integrity even in the midst of the crises that transformed them.

Longitudinal Section and South East Elevation, Image Courtesy © Philippe Barriere Collective (PB+Co)

About Philippe Barriere Collective (PB+Co)

Challenging both theory and practice, the Collective has developed a forward-thinking expertise addressing suburbanization (i.e. ParkUrbia), the Interstate Highway System (i.e. Infrastructure Architecture), social and humanitarian issues such as homelessness, refugee camps and health crises.

More recently it has developed the concept of Hybrid Architecture (i.e High-Low Tech) in the Maghreb.

The Collective integrates highly competent specialists and manufacturers early in the design process to develop simple, efficient, practical and highly sophisticated cutting edge solutions. It has developed a long time working relation with the renown engineering and fabrication company like A. Zahner co. and called out aerospace technology manufacture specialists (Beechcraft, Cessna, Boeing) for innovative technical solutions.

State president advisers, international institutions (UNWRA, CTC.. etc), private foundations, NGO, local communities, social entrepreneurs and private and corporate clients have trusted the collective to provide them with unique solutions.

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Categories: Aquatic Centre, Rhino, Swimming Pool

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