KAOS Architects won the 1st prize in the architectural contest for a new aquatic centre building in downtown Viljandi, southern Estonia.
The aquatic centre will be accessible from Kaalu, Vaksali and Tallinna streets and form one complex together with the existing sports facility and tennis hall. The new building will be set back from the street to accommodate a green square with evening sunlight in front of the main entrance at Kaalu street. This area will be a source of space for the architecture as well as for people, the vegetation and benches.
The building will have a simple form and be low by its nature since the rooms will be on a single level mostly. As it is not reasonable to place swimming pools above one another, we have designed the building as a solid slab with the upper and lower surfaces each varying in height as if to create a landscape. The northern end of the aquatic centre will be elevated above the ground level while inside that part of the building, jacuzzis and deck chairs will be enjoying the evening sun.
The simple volume will be organised by axes of movement, including an interior street that will allow entry from different sides of the building. The interior street will be crossed by two other axes interconnecting the lobby, water facilities, saunas, locker rooms and swimming pool. The stairs of the interior street will feature built-in seats to provide a space for hanging around, e.g. for children or youth.
The winning entry, authored by Laura Ojala, Katrin Vilba and Margit Aule, was submitted in cooperation with Projekt O2.