Danish Architecture Firm 3XN wins the competition to design a new aquatic center in Linköping, Sweden, beating Zaha Hadid architects, Erséus Arkitekter, Henning Larsen Architects, and Liljewall Arkitekte. The five finalists were selected from a long list of more than 40 entries.
3XN’s design, named ‘Vågen’ which means ‘wave’ in Swedish, is meant to create a relationship between the building of the aquatic center, which will be made entirely of wood, and the waterside. The building will act as a mediator between the city and the lake. Kim Herforth Nielsen, founder and principal 3XN explains: “We envisioned a building where the architecture gives hints of its functionality, the waveform in the façade, as well as the large panoramic windows, blur the boundary between pools inside and lake outside.”
The building is curved in a way that makes it seems as if it is eroded by the waves of the ocean. It steps down the closer it gets to the lake, optimizing the view, and its masses flow naturally like the surrounding landscape. The smooth curves make space for outside terraces by the lake.
The aquatic center’s 25.5-meter-tower will be housing the offices and it will be the highest part of the building. It will be located on the north-eastern corner so as not to shadow the front entrance plaza which will be adjoined by restaurants. Following the plaza, there is a double-height lobby which leads to different activity zones and functions, including four different pools.
The construction of this project will commence in September 2017, and it should be opening in 2021. The total budget for this project €80 million.