The Polish poet Agnieszka Osiecka in her book “Szpetni czterdziestoletni” [Ugly forty-year-olds] described the game of social relationships in the space of public swimming pools. In a fun way, it shows how important swimming resorts were in the 1980s. Each user occupied a specific element of the space - a swimming pool wall, a grass zone, a concrete pavement, a tribune, etc. In the presence of such interesting personalities, swimming seems to be secondary. The project recreates the characteristic elements of pools’ space and the planes of various usages so that together with the user the space can create a variety of activities and invite personalities.
Activity at a public pool is an interesting social phenomenon of private and public nature. Water, which we usually use in our own bathroom, here becomes the background for joint activity with a stranger. The savoir-vivre of bath breaks the rules of the city, creating a casual, natural atmosphere of undressing to the swimsuit itself and a full sense of summer in the city centre.
Three Sculpture Elements
The composition of the space of public pools is based on the game of levels and views. The usual elements of the pools are clear dominants. Slides, little bridges, shower, diving tower resemble concrete sculptures. The project is based on three sculptural elements. Each of them symbolises a different phenomenon. The diving tower is a symbol of freedom and overcoming the fear. The spiral slide is a child’s joy. Finally, the underwater abstract sculpture is a symbol of exploration of nature - it introduces the user into a state consternation and makes him or her dive.
Public pools in the existing “Tęcza” zone have a social aspect. Swimming in them is a joint activity. The “Relaks” pool, while bathing, is supposed to connect man with nature and put him in a mood of calmness - relaxation. In order to emphasise the symbiosis of man and nature, a swimming pool is purified naturally by filtering plants, such as reed, manna, and sedges was designed. Plants are located along the arc of the pool, next to a wooden bridge which marks the boundaries of the pool water and the reservoir. The water level was designed at an approximate height, and the water flowing from the reservoir into the pool is naturally cleaned by the layer of the plants. In this way, the whole creates a natural system. The circular shape of the pool basin symbolizes a continuous circle of natural phenomena. On the flat roof of the “Relaks” pool pavilion there is a naturist zone emphasising the philosophy of harmony of life with nature.
A wavy tunnel has also been designed in the Existentia zone. The function of the tunnel and its form changes with the user’s journey. The first part of the tunnel is contemplative. The user is surrounded by walls of 3 m height, water (flowing under his or her feet) and the sky. This is the symbolic point of the tunnel - the connection of earth and sky - man and nature. The other end of the tunnel turns into a pier and a harbour of sailing boats. The pier is to restore the former character of the Kielce reservoir and create the possibility of blue water recreation. Thus, it completed the green avenue, the river and a natural environment of the city.