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Author(s): Log architectes

Water theatre

In the past, a major employment area for the entire department of Lot et Garonne, the Fumel Steel Plant, which experienced the crises, is now near death, a death that will take the town with it.

Fumel must reinvent itself, find the means to recover its land to rebuild its attractiveness.

Attached to the history of the site but concerned about finding a suitable response to the new economic challenge of “green tourism”, elected officials decided to launch a contest with a program that was both relatively open and adapted to the demand: renovate the large municipal pool both so that young people do not leave the region in the summer and for tourists, bringing these different populations together in a facility open to everyone.

For us, reconverting the existing pool, whose dimensions show the splendour of the 1970s, was a first opportunity to reconnect with the current reality of the site: the new image of the pool is based on optimal use and a reorganisation of the site to incorporate it into the context, give it unity, and reconnect it with nearby facilities.

The site was treated as a part of the landscape, in continuity with the existing natural environment. Earthworks restored a geography consistent with the hillside: a natural relief contrasts with the unique and geometric objects in the program. A young oak grove was also planted to create continuity with the existing plants.

The entrance was reoriented to the Southwest corner, above the site, clarifying the arrival point for the public to the entire site.

The construction of the corner became a sign of the renovation as well as the main entrance. The reception building is an expansion of a large wooden slatted fence that matches the patterns of the surrounding buildings. This fence forms the facade of the pool and defines the strong identity of the site.

Alternating opaque with permeable to sight, it establishes a dialogue between interior and exterior, invites discovery, protects, and guides.

Sometimes a limit, sometimes a passageway or link, the fence also supports the “vital” functions of the pool and transforms and expands where they touch it. It serves as a guide to a veritable promenade from the entrance to the pools. This staging of the program elements over the entire site creates a living site that is larger and more generous than a pool: a landscape building that can adapt to everyone’s wishes, as they want it to be.

Function : park, sports basin, fun pool, paddling, water sports