ISSUE 34  |  Heat Waves

Architect Visit: A Nordic Lido in Copenhagen

August 27, 2015 4:00 PM

BY Meredith Swinehart

Designed by architect Fredrik Pettersson, the Kastrup Sea Bath is a sculpture for bathing that juts into the í˜resund, a busy waterway connecting the Baltic Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. “My idea was to achieve a sculptural, dynamic form that can be seen from the land, from the sea, and from the air,” Pettersson says.

Scandinavians are known for their tolerance for frigid waters, and swimming outdoors is a common form of exercise for young and old. (I’ve witnessed this Scandi fortitude: As a child, my Swedish nanny’s family visited us in Seattle and swam laps in the Puget Sound in February.) But at the Kastrup Bath, a fondness for frigid waters is not required. The í˜resund is shallow at the site of the bath and the water is (relatively) warm. A lifeguard is on duty during the bath’s busiest hours, but there are no age restrictions, night swimming is allowed, and you’re free to practice your forward pike from the 16-foot high diving platform.

The bath is a mere 15-minute train ride from Copenhagen on the city’s new subway line, and was created to revitalize the dilapidated Kastrup waterfront. During the winter off-season (when daylight in Copenhagen lasts for a mere seven hours at its briefest), the bath still makes itself useful; its 100-yard boardwalk is open for year-round strolling and is lined with benches open for year-round chatting. For more, visit the site of designers White Arkitekter.

Photography by Ole Haupt, except where noted.

kastrup-sea=-bath-afarAbove: The structure is dramatic when seen from afar, and was designed to be viewed as a sculpture from land, sea, and air.

700_kastrup-sea-deckingAbove: Upward-facing flood lights provide both safety and drama at night. Photo by Erco Lighting.

700_kastrup-long-viewAbove: The structure is made of Azobé decking, an African species known for its resistance to seawater.

700_kastrup-baths-view
Above: We’re not sure a 16-foot high public diving platform would fly in the US, but kudos to the Danes for their daring.

700_kastrup-locker-roomsAbove: Locker rooms feature nautical-inspired colors.

700_kastrup-bathroomAbove: A changing room, like the rest of the bath, is designed with wheelchair accessibility in mind.

700_kastrup-swimmersAbove: On a warm summer day, the bath is a busy place. But even on brisk early mornings, Danes young and old are here for exercise. Photo by Lindman Photography.

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