Skating and swimming in a park

In Deurne, situated on the eastern fringe of the city of Antwerp, but surrounded by the lush green of Park Ruggeveld, you will find the location of a new swimming facility Sportoase Groot Schijn, combined with an ice skating rink. ZJA Zwarts & Jansma Architects designed a compact sports venue that harbors extensive versatility and is connected to the surroundings in a playful way. Above all, it is the orientation of the entrance to the building that results in a connection with the park. That entrance is situated in the southwest corner, the area of the park where you will also find access to public transport.

Light and surprising vistas

The entrance to the swimming pool complex is an inviting open space, actually a canopied public space consisting of stairways and multiple levels. Slender columns and a fabric roof enhance the lively and open atmosphere. The outside walls are clad in horizontal wooden strips, a rhyme with the green surroundings. There are also perspectives towards the recreation pools, partially located outside on the second level balcony. The bottom of one of these pools is made of glass, so that you are presented with a surprising perspective of swimmers when entering the complex. All in all the entrance offers a lively visual experience guiding you into the swimming pool complex.

An extremely varied program

Arriving in the entrance hall a choice has to be made between frozen or liquid water. The ice skating rink is off to the left, the pools are to the right. In one part of the complex water is being chilled to below the freezing point, while it is being heated on the other side. In terms of energy supply this is an advantageous combination. Changing rooms are situated on the ground floor, and on the first floor you will find a restaurant with an unobstructed view of the pools. There is a gym and an offering of recreational pools divided over two levels, including waterslides and a pool for the sports club, in addition to a facility for diving. There is an outside terrace on the first level and two outside pools on the second level, surrounded by a lounging area. This sports complex is designed to house all forms of swimming and diving, ranging from professional to recreational, young to old, swimming for babies to therapeutic, all to be integrated as smoothly as possible.

Friendly and relaxed      

This complex of swimming pools is dominated by daylight, accommodated by the transparent roof and the glass facade. Openness and the surprising vistas offered by the interlinking levels are characteristics of this design. The wide corridors and wooden accents in the interior provide a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The use of wood also enhances the quality of the acoustics in the complex, a crucial aspect in swimming pools.


Client: Sportoase
Year: 2017 - Current
Project #1069