Myrtha Pools, which has an impressive record of delivering aquatic facilities around the world, including close to 200 projects in Australia and New Zealand, is advancing a series of initiatives to deliver more cost effective facilities.
In late 2016, the Italian-based company combined with world swimming governing body FINA and Spain-based Pujol Arquitectura to launch ‘Pools for All’, an initiative to develop truly sustainable aquatic centres around the world.
The initiative aims to present standardised tools for the worldwide design, construction and operation of a complete range of sustainable aquatic facilities compliant with the regulations of its different aquatic disciplines.
Launched during the 4th FINA World Aquatics Convention in Windsor, Canada, one of the aims of the program is to develop different standardised solutions that are highly efficient, financially self-sustaining, with minimal impact on the environment and energy consumption throughout the life of the venue.
The project suggests five categories of aquatic centres, able to host events, competitions and championships at different levels and age groups in accordance with FINA (Fédération Internationale de NAtation) and national Federation requirements, while at the same time being capable of community and recreational activities.
Pools for All suggests different standardised solutions for the completion and the proper operation of aquatic facilities aiming to create designs not only compliant with swimming discipline norms but to also be sustainable considering three main dimensions: profits, social and environment with a goal of making facilities more responsive to the needs of swimmers and communities.
Myrtha Pools has also developed its own Swim Cube concept for a multifunctional swim facility at limited cost, but with certified quality and safety.
The service offered by Myrtha Pools is all-inclusive and covers every phase of the project, from the initial analysis of the location and planning to the final phase of installation and management of the infrastructure, with reduced cost but high levels of safety and efficiency.
Myrtha Pools also focuses on the environment, thanks to solar panels located on the ventilated roof of the building, offering the possibility of optimizing energy consumption, with important economic and ecological benefits.
The Swim Cube comes in two versions, compact and extended, based on the inclusion of an added multifunctional space for a wide range of activities, for the most appropriate response to various needs. The façade of the facility is in light paneling, offering the potential for each facility to be personalised.
The organisation of the spaces provides a large entrance/reception area connected to two changing rooms – for men and women – and the swimming pool zones, also accessed through a multifunctional zone.
The two pools of the facility (made with exclusive Myrtha technology) have different sizes, to respond to the requirements of different types of activities: one measures 12×4 metres, with a constant depth of 1.2 metres, and two lanes for aqua fitness activities; the other measures 25×6 metres, with a constant depth of 1.35 metres and three lanes for freestyle swimming and racing.
An early example of this standardised approach to facility design is the Taastrup Svømmehal, in Høje-Taastrup, a Danish municipality of 50,000 people, a few minutes from the centre of Copenhagen.
The pool, built as part of the multisport Taastrup Idræts Centre, was built to provide a facility that could easily host important events and growing number of users for the facility’s existing three pools – one 25 metre and two smaller heated pools – that was not enough to satisfy the new community requirements.
The new fourth pool was built by Myrtha Pools in co-operation with DISH, a Myrtha dealer in Denmark, aimed at offering a functional facility: a ‘turnkey’ swimming arena accessible to the most important local swimmers.
Beside the new 25 metre pool, the project included the building structure, a ventilation and water treatment plant, as well as the dressing rooms and common spaces designed for offices and a café.
The project provides for functional, but at the same time, environmental-friendly areas: the conditioning and water treatment plant provides highly effective ventilation while cutting water and energy consumption to the bare minimum.
Top image shows FINA, Myrtha Pools and Pujol Arquitectura at the launch of Pools for All. Myrtha Chief Executive Roberto Colletto is third from left.
In 2015, the Victorian Government’s Sport and Recreation Victoria Agency launched Design For Everyone: A Guide To Sport And Recreation Settings, a simple-to-use web portal to provide architects, designers and project managers with a series of ‘universal design’ principals that will be a key requirement of Sport and Recreation Victoria funding applications.
This article was first published in Australian Leisure Magazine 2018.