Based on the history and the site-specific qualities of the Han River, the design for the redevelopment and extension of the Jamsil Han Swimming Pool aims to abstract the natural forms of the former floodplain. Creating a complex wetland using geometric shapes, the concept combines different typologies that reflect natural diversity and enables the visitor to experience the element of water in many different ways – through summer and winter.
Since the aquatic landscape combines public and semi-public use, primary conceptual considerations evolved around questions of interconnectivity and spatial separation. How do the different zones connect within the pool landscape? And how does the poolside itself connect with the surrounding public space? Having this in mind, differentiated access possibilities were developed that blur fixed spatial boundaries and create a smooth transition to the public sphere. Furthermore, the pools on the riverside are constructed with an overflow edge that strengthens the visual connection to the Han River and distinguishes the water landscape as an inherent part of urban life. The “Infinity Pool” also adopts a function in the general water treatment. It directs the abounding water to the hydroponic plants and the gravel filter at the base and thus represents an essential element of the circulating waterway.
The concept of biological water purification and hydro-botany applies the same processes as in natural waters, where plants filter undesired nutrients from the pool. It can be seen as a credible contribution to allow public swimming without chemical disinfection. Since the first natural swimming pond was granted government approval, this concept has spread rapidly across Europe. For the Jamsil Hangang pool, different sustainable filter technologies for biologically purified and chlorine-free water systems were proposed that, according to our varied (water) typologies, enhance a diverse swimming experience.