Frankfurt am Main, DE
This outdoor swimming pool in Darmstadt is an exercise in tectonic eloquence, a seamless integration of making and thought.
The project’s aim was simple but complex: to eliminate any trace of structural expression in order to maximise the visceral impact of the white cast in-situ concrete. This was achieved using a bespoke steel frame, which encased the shuttering during construction.
The concrete is flawless; there is no evidence of shuttering joints or anchor points, just a smooth white surface, articulated within a classic orthogonal form, its phenomenology enriched by the ethereality of the water and light.
The flooring specification for the outdoor space and adjoining family room is the same - Italian coquina stone slabs. These generate a welcoming ambience, inside and out, as well as providing an all-important slip-resistant surface around the water. A fully retractable safety pool cover, accessed from a hidden slot, provides additional peace of mind.
The connectivity between indoors and outdoors is further articulated through the alignment of the flooring joints and how the respective off-white shades of internal plaster and external render correspond. Both wall treatments perfectly complement the colour, depth and texture of the stonework.
Within this dynamic, the scheme’s subtle integrated lighting highlights the project's core qualities: its structural rigour, timeless geometric proportions and exacting materiality.
Additional Credits: All images courtesy of Ian Shaw Architekten. Photography by Felix Krumbholz.