Valby Water Cultural Centre
Mountain cave for swimming in the flat landscape of Copenhagen
Denmark is a flat country, but in Copenhagen something that looks like a small mountain has emerged. It is the new Valby Water Culture Centre. A raw and edgy building that looks like something that could be created by nature. Maybe just not the Danish….
The nature runs like an aesthetic red thread through the building and gives associations towards mountains, forests, lakes and ponds, supported by the natural materials on both the interior and the exterior. The floors and walls are covered with elegant and durable gray quartzite extracted from northern Scandinavia, more specifically from the Minera quarry in Offerdal. The edge of the pool is covered with beautiful dark wood, instead of the far more commonly used white plastic. These elements give the building a high sence of quality and signals of comfort and relaxation. Copenhagen municipality specifically asked for a water culture center in Valby, not a swimming pool. Architect Niels Sigsgaard from Nohr & Sigsgaard let the imagination run wild and came up with culture for everybody who not only wants a dip in the pool, but also a trip to the sauna, phototherapy for depression or just to be in a relaxed atmosphere in a social environment with plenty of water. The result is located in a building with a challenging geometry that has oblique angles in three dimensions. There has taken particular considerations on the reduction of energy consumption and the building is listed as a low energy class 2 building.
600 m² Offerdal tiles natural surface, 20/30/40 cm x rl, t: 10-20 mm.