Summertime is the best time to launch some new urban projects! This is one we’ve been following for quite a while. Finally the time has come to share it with the world!

We all know swimming in the canals of our beautiful European cities unfortunately isn’t always very healthy… that’s why the ‘bath boat’, a floating pool, is a great invention! In the harbour of Antwerp one has finally arrived! The boat was designed by Sculp(IT) Architecten, run by Pieter Peerlings, an old class mate of mine, together with his wife Silvia Mertens.

As I prefer taking a look for myself and sharing real pictures (rather than the above renders), I’ll have to patiently wait until the official opening on the 14th of August 2012. The boat is on it’s way to the harbour of Antwerp, where all parts will be assembled to look like this:

Pieter was already experimenting with cargo boats when we were still studying together. In a designing project he hung up a couple of those boats in a huge steel structure overlooking the Schelde river in Antwerp. Every boat had a different program. Pretty cool idea!

It is not the first time that floating pools have been made, but it is the first time that a pool can be transformed into a skating rink in the winter! Even cooler, the boat is GIGANTIC! It measures 120m x 10m and can accomodate up to 600 people. Besides the pool, there are 2 event rooms: a restaurant and a lounge terrace. Also special is the ecological/aesthetic aspect: the boat has an on-board reed-bed that purifies the water. No need to say a green patch on the water in a grey harbour won’t hurt!

In Berlin I swam in a ‘bath boat’, an actual string of boats, during the winter and it was also a very fun experience. One boat was the pool while the other contained all the saunas, tanning beds and a bar. After the sauna we ran naked over the ice of the Spree river to cool off and jump into the pool. (As my boyfriend would say ‘that’s SO European’!).

Copenhagen is also on the list of cities with floating pools. Last year when we were there the weather was too awefull to go for a swim in their floating pool which we still find slightly unfortunate… but it gives us another reason to go back for a visit! Of course New York City can’t stay behind but +Pool is taking their time. They have been raising money to continue their research and design a pool that filters the water from the Hudson river through the walls of the pool. It will be more than a boat filled with water… I do not really like of the shape of the pool (a huge ‘plus’) but how cool this would be if it works!

Congratulations to the architects! Antwerp, my bikini and me are on our way! Here are some more pictures that make me dream of visiting soon:

We're looking forward to the first party in the boat.(Source : De Standaard, these last 3 pictures by Walter Saenen)

Pieter going for a swim!

Pieter is the first one to go for a swim!

For more info, visit the website.

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