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[Under]water

new experience by design

Leo Spurgin

00 project brief
Beginning with a list of aquatic events, some Olympic events and others wild ideas for new sports, the
studio was instructed to chose one of these aquatic events and design an “event specific pool” for said
event. The pool was to be highly specialized and unique, with its design generated out of the very
specific needs of the chosen event. The pools will be part of a new National Aquatic Training Facility at
Texas Tech University which will overtake the existing TTU Aquatic Center.

01 concept .

The pool can- of the Glass Pool Inn in Las Vegas. One walls of the pool. The circular tilevers over the edge of the building and the wall windows allow any passerby to see into the pool and floor that are cantilevered are glass creating a below the water line creating interesting visuals. I came across the pool on the such pool is the main attraction and namesake roof of the Aris Hotel in Singapore. unique visual for spectators below and swimmers alike. .transparent inspiration floating water My initial thoughts were to search for existing Following this idea of seeing into pools from the swimming pools that were out of the ordinary.

hanging hose gold-man-bowl fishbowl Embracing the idea of a pool that spectators could Another idea was for a bowl shaped pool so that see into from the sides and the bottom. I decided to develop this concept further. . This long linear shape synchronized swimming. A a long tube like pool that would be made out of sport that would be perfect for this concept is some sort of clear material. I sketched spectators could view the event from any angle. event. Conceptually it was an would fit events such as individual lap swimming attempt to create as open as a space as possible or could be extended to be used as a marathon underneath the pool for spectators to view the pool.

These collages showed the space above the pool but focused more on the space below the water line of the pool. The driving concept for every design decision revolved around the spectators viewing the performance from all angles. above and below the level of the water. .conceptual collage In an attempt to begin to understand the space that this pool would create and how the spectators would interact with this space I created concept collages.

02 pool research .

This big enough loss in strength to become a hazard. The pool would be 52’ high.pool transparency initial idea Researching the feasibility of a large transparent cylindrical form. The by Reynolds Polymer Technologies. the Aquadom will be used. These seams have 90% of the To form the bowl shaped pool that the design pool brought to my attention to the Aquadom in strength a single panel would have which is not a calls for. . 36’ diameter aquarium was constructed prefabricated in panels off site and the panels inside of a hotel with cast acrylic panels fabricated would be chemically bonded together on site. Multiple panels initial thoughts on the thickness of the acrylic was were chemically bonded together to form the large that it would need to be 6” thick. Germany in the SAS Radisson hotel. the same technique used to construct Berlin.

In pool and how heavy this volume of water would addition to this sand filter system a sanitation be.thirsty? beach-in-a-can Part of researching the feasibility of this glass pool I decided on a sand filtration system because of was calculating how much water would be in the the lower maintenance cost and lack of odor. smaller particles that the sand filter does not get rid of. . I also looked into filtration systems at this system using oxidation and ionization instead point and decided on the filter size that would be of chemicals will be used to clean the water of required.

03 design .

Also the circular pool brought up the ramps lead down to this area. I moved away from a the performance from above. A design with an extension of the pool on one side would solve this problem. . issue of how and where the swimmers would enter and exit the pool. A glass platform perfect circle as the symmetry was overwhelming covers the spectator area below the pool and two and boring.circular observation light bulb My initial design had a circular pool with a bridge Although the symmetry of synchronized swimming over the top of the pool for spectators to watch fits in with a circular design.

. an idea of how much space below the water line The roof would become more articulated once would be necessary. The first level is 8 feet below grade while however the viewing area below remained the other two levels are 14 and 20 feet below basically the same through to the final design.hanging pool markup heaven By examining the pool in section. grade. The locker the heights of the below grade platforms were room area changed considerable from this point decided. I began to get From this iteration the design progressed greatly. It was at this point that structural research was started.

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After this iteration the locker rooms changed immensely and a reflecting pool was brought into the design at the base of this curtain wall. A glass curtain wall that would remain part of the design now wrapped around the public space opening it up greatly. .1 waves of change In this second iteration of the design the roof began to take shape.

Sectional model showing how the spaces interact at this point. Demonstrates how the spectators can view the pool in close proximity from below or from the sides. .

04 structural development .

homebase floating saucer Knowing how heavy the water in the pool was Borrowing this idea of hanging the heavy spine going to be I began researching methods to from a mast I devised a system of 5 masts to suspend heavy objects. . These masts would also hold Homebase headquarters in the UK designed by a system of trusses that would in turn hold up an Nicholas Grimshaw. I came across the hang the pool from. The structure of this building aluminum panel roof system. relies on a large 80 ton central spine suspended by a large mast and cable system.

The leg is an elegant the top of the masts and down to the concrete body part so these masts would be aesthetically anchors in the ground. I began developing section of the central spine. resulted in masts that were too short and did not I constructed a model of one of the masts and a fit the program of the design. . The cables carry the masts based on the swimmers sticking their load of the trusses and the load of the pool across legs up out of the water. 4 20’ 115’ 50’ 5 12’ 6 mast murder structural suspension The initial idea to hang the pool from masts In order to understand how the structure works. pleasing with their soft curves and gentle bulges.

35’ 20’ 115’ 9’-8” 50’ 12’ early structural diagram .

The change that was required for the pool to be stable that is 13” thick to reinforce the connection. concrete anchors with steel ties . Pool Connection Detail Steel cable connection through acrylic 35’ 20’ 20’ 115’ 115’ 9’-8” 50’ 50’ 12’ 12’ revised revised engineer ingenuity During the structural development stage I had the was incorporated into my design. . After engineers informed me that the system I had was the thickness of the acrylic. Instead they suggested 10” would be structurally sound. The acrylic was Before I spoke with the engineers . The envisioned an anchoring system to keep the the structural integrity of my design. I was informed this connection the curve continues upward but devised would be ineffective for the purpose that 6” of acrylic would not be thick enough but thins to 6” because the top of the curve is having it was to be used for. The first curve of the pool led up to a band in the acrylic pool from pulling itself out of the ground. I had opportunity to converse with two engineers about thickened to 10” at the bottom of the pool. This change to resist less weight.

revised structural diagram .

05 final drawings .

roof plan floor plan .

longitudinal section .

cross section .

circulation diagram detail section .

The towering masts cause the public space of the building to seem to stick out of the ground while the more private space blends into the ground with an earth burm. .

Spectators are taken on a panoramic journey on the way to the bottom level. . This journey gives them a view from multiple angles and multiple sides of the pool.

I realize it will be sorely missed. Never have I seen a pool that one can walk underneath and see up through the bottom. space. final thoughts With the semester coming to a close and time running out on this project. It has instilled in me a drive to see things in a new light. and how spaces relate. I have taken a great deal from this studio as well as my design. it has forever changed my outlook on design . Future designs will be full of new ideas mostly related to new ways to view light. Weather or not this project was a success. Just like any other profession thinking outside the norm is key to the success of design.