géronde swimming pool, sierre, competition, 2nd place
city of sierre
outside pool, swimming pool, toboggans, cloakrooms
competition december 2010
ingeni sa (gabriele guscetti), genève
the general landscaping concept aims to make the entire shoreline of the lac de géronde accessible to the public again. the swimming pool is set within the lake itself, away from the shoreline, so that people can walk around the lake throughout the year. swimmers purchase a swipe card from the eastern or western ticket office, which allows them to use the footbridge that gives access to the pool. this swipe card also enables them to use facilities such as the lockers and changing-rooms.
the position of the pool increases the relationship that its users have with the lake, offering an expanse of filtered, tempered water situated within the lake and giving the impression of swimming in the middle of it. the shores of the lake are left free of any structures and are returned to a natural state, giving the lakeside a more untamed appearance. ad hoc structures such as pontoons and stairs provide swimmers with physical access to the lake.
the landscaping operations around the perimeter of the lake produce a variety of ambiances, producing diverse relationships with the natural lakeside environment. a gently-sloping beach is created on the western side of the lake, close to the changing-rooms, representing a return to the original 1917 configuration. swimmers can also use a grassy, south-facing relaxation area, situated between the two ticket offices and running from the lake to the rocks. some trees have been removed from this area in order to create this relationship with the mineral morphology particular to this part of the rhône plain. the reed bed and the shoreline at the foot of the colline de géronde (géronde hill) are cleared of artificial elements and offer occasional viewing points over the lake, as well as pontoons for swimmers and fishermen. the area of meadow for recreational use has more contact with the lake, as the absence of vegetation along this particular part of the lakeside gives a continuous relationship between this area and the lake. the space in front of the restaurant de la grotte retains a more constructed character than the rest of the site, being augmented by a terrace overlooking the lake.
the lac de géronde site, via its redesigned pedestrian route, offers a
staging-point along the walk that links the town and the river. the new
route goes via the flights of steps in the centre of the semicircular
amphitheatre, clarifying the role of this site as a stage on the
journey. all the premises used in the operation of the pool are situated
behind the present semicircular amphitheatre, thus emphasising its role
in the organisation of this part of the site.