Piscine de Blocry

Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve (BE), 2024

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VenhoevenCS designed the winning proposal for the new Piscine de Blocry in Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, together with Artes, B2Ai architects, Sweco and Setesco. The competition is part of the “Plan Piscine”: an initiative in Wallonia to improve all swimming facilities. The new aquatics centre and pedestrian route will make for a great entrance to the Hocaille district and will contribute strongly to the social interaction of the city. The pool’s cohesive function is welcoming to everyone. Piscine de Blocry will be accessible for both school kids, families and professional athletes.

With an Olympic-sized swimming pool (50×25 m), accommodating national competitions for a diverse range of sports such as long-distance swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo, Piscine de Blocry will become one of the largest swimming pools in Wallonia. The building volume, however, is very compact. This allows for a maximum preservation of the existing trees and other vegetation – as the building is located next to a Natura 2000 zone with a rich and biodiverse forest. Simultaneously we were able to bring the use of energy to a minimum and reach the high energy performance ambitions.

Respecting the particular building context, the architecture is modest, with a façade cladding of refined anthracite-coloured metal panels. The horizontal building volume is accentuated by large horizontal windows that provide daylight and panoramic views of the green surroundings. In the interior, contrasting colours and materials contribute to the articulation of different spaces and the orientation of visitors.

The roof is constructed in wood, which adds to the building’s sustainability by reducing CO2 emissions and the long term storing of CO2. Other sustainable measures are the integration of energy efficient installations and solar panels fully covering the building’s roof.

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Name: Piscine de Blocry
Location: Complexe sportif de Blocry, Place des sports 1
Program: Olympic-size swimming pool with a grandstand for 200 spectators, toddler pool and cafeteria
Surface area: 5860 m2
Assignment: Competition design, concept design, schematic design, design development, construction documents, procurement, construction administration
Period: 2019 - 2024
Status: In Progress
Client: ARTES, Municipality of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve

Credits

VenhoevenCS: Cécilia Gross, Manfred Wansink, Jérémy Cassin, Tom Padding, Fadia Maafa
Partner architect:B2Ai architects
Main contractor:ARTES TWT
Structural engineer:SETESCO
MEP:SWECO Belgium
Building physics:3E, Duss Explorers
Water treatment:Visser & Smit HANAB SA
Cost consultant:Artes TWT
Other:ATS Acoustique (Acoustic consultant)
Images: VenhoevenCS, B1 Design (renders)