New pool complex Češča vas is located in a space dominated by the existing, recently renovated velodrome. It is our preference not to drastically alter the spatial relationships with the erection of the new swimming pool facility as it would introduce disorder that the space could do without, and further saturate it.

project Češča Vas Pool Complex
type open competition, first prize
year 2020
status built 2023
size 4.770m2
site 13.370 m2
footprint 3.500 m2
cost 7.000.000 EUR
client Novo mesto Municipality
location Češča vas, Novo mesto, Slovenia
architecture ENOTA
project team Dean Lah, Milan Tomac, Jurij Ličen, Nuša Završnik Šilec, Polona Ruparčič, Sara Ambruš, Eva Tomac, Eva Javornik, Urška Malič, Rasmus Skov, Sara Mežik, Jakob Kajzer, Peter Sovinc, Carlos Cuenca Solana, Goran Djokić
collaborators Ivan Ramšak (structural engineering), Nom biro (mechanical and electrical services), Krajinaris (landscape architecture), Controlmatik ABW (pool technology)
photo Miran Kambič

Češča Vas Pool Complex by ENOTA Architects - Sheet5
©Miran Kambič

The new pool facility thus takes advantage of the topographic properties of the inclined terrain. It is sited as low as possible and does not constitute a new dominant in the space.

The complex comprises two interior pools and their infrastructure; in the 2nd phase of the project, an exterior Olympic-size pool is to be added. The spatial design employs the partially dug-in levels to separate the individual new amphiteatral ambients by way of elevation. The entrance hall is thus disconnected from the traffic surfaces, while the lowest-lying pool area corresponds to the elevation of the surroundings at the westernmost edge of the area. The banks of the cut terrain are transformed into grandstands for the visitors. In this manner, the design reduces the structure’s facade envelope surface, thereby increasing its energy efficiency and reducing the investment cost. The possible risk due to the increased terrain excavation is thus efficiently balanced.

Češča Vas Pool Complex by ENOTA Architects - Sheet7
©Miran Kambič

The building’s subdued appearance in the space is achieved by the low floating roof, under which the surrounding landscape is allowed to flow across the pool. At the same time, the roof of the structure is the volume housing all the programme which does not require a direct contact with the water surfaces. The programme arrangement ensures a taller ceiling height above the pool space and a lower ceiling height at the reception desk and changing rooms. The structural design of the roof featuring a grillage based on wall beams concealed in the programme’s partition walls allows for large spans and requires few vertical supports. The light appearing along the entire perimeter creates and impression of the roof volume hovering above the pool surface, while wide views of the surrounding nature open from the interior. The cantilever roof on the building’s entrance side acts as a canopy, which, together with the  dug-in amphitheatre surface, forms the exterior entrance platform.

Češča Vas Pool Complex by ENOTA Architects - Sheet8
©Miran Kambič

The materiality of the pool complex is very simple and restrained. The facade envelope of the floating roof is covered in natural, unvarnished timber boards which will in time age and thereby further blend the building with the materiality of the surrounding forest. Together with the tilted geometry, the roof appears in the space as a paraphrase of the local rural development. The design of the amphitheatral spaces, i.e. the programme platforms on the various levels, is homogenous and executed in local concrete with different surface finishes. The only material accent is found in the building’s interior. The bottom side of the floating pool roof volume is uniformly coloured in an intense, warm hue. The ceiling is thus rendered sufficiently present so as to act as a pleasant shelter for the users despite the pool space’s lack of filled perimeter walls. At the same time, the interior being accented in this way acts as an discreet invitation for the users of the surrounding exterior space.


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