Governor General's Medals in Architecture - 2020 Recipient

Borden Park Natural Swimming Pool
Edmonton,
AB
Award Category: 
Governor General’s Medals in Architecture

gh3 architecture

Lead design architect(s): 

gh3 architecture

Occupancy: July 1, 2018
Construction Budget: $14.4 million

The BPNSP is the first chemical free public outdoor pool built in Canada. The pool involves a balanced ecosystem where plant materials, microorganisms, and nutrients come together within a granular filtering process to create “living water”. The pool technology cleanses the water through stone, gravel, sand, and botanic filtering processes. This was the inspiration behind a materials-oriented concept for the facility to achieve a technically rigorous and aesthetically integrated design whose gabion basket stone wall visually evokes the idea of filtration. The elemental form and reductive materials ease the user experience and enriches the narrative of bathing in the landscape.

Jury Comment(s): 

“Clear, calm, and modest, this project presents admirable restraint and control over form, materials, and scale. Every element feels essential and thought has gone into every decision and detail. The pool evokes an elemental walled garden that welcomes the surrounding community. The jury salutes the City of Edmonton for commissioning it. It goes to show that if you support good civic design, you just might get it!”

Jury members

Click for full version: 
View south from hydrobotanic filters.

PHOTO: gh3*

View of change area

PHOTO: gh3*

North-south section through hydrobotantic filter main pool and toddlers pool.

PHOTO: gh3*

West elevation

PHOTO: gh3*

View to pool concession

PHOTO: gh3*

View to the south

PHOTO: gh3*