the perfect concrete pool   beton schwimmbad by ian shaw architekten the perfect concrete pool   beton schwimmbad by ian shaw architekten
dec 12, 2012

the perfect concrete pool beton schwimmbad by ian shaw architekten

‘beton schwimmbad’ by ian shaw architekten, darmstadt, germany image © felix krumbholz all images courtesy of ian shaw architekten


developed by ian shaw architekten, this outdoor swimming pool in darmstadt is an exercise in tectonic eloquence, a seamless integration of making and thought. the project’s aim was simple but complex: to eliminate any trace of structural expression in order to maximise the visceral impact of the white cast in-situ concrete. this was realised through a bespoke steel frame, which encases the shuttering during construction. the concrete is flawless; there is no evidence of shuttering joints or anchor points, just an unblemished smooth white surface, articulated within an orthogonal form, its phenomenology enriched by the ethereality of the water and light.


all measurements pertain to the golden section. italian coquina stone slabs surround the pool, their matt finishing minimizing glare and reducing the risk of slipping; and for the external walls, an off white shade of plaster to compliment the warm tone of the stonework. the ambience generated is calm and welcoming; and from a practical standpoint, the inclusion of a fully retractable safety pool cover, accessed from a hidden slot, ensures peace of mind. detailing is meticulous throughout; a family room adjoins the swimming pool, the positioning of its windows aligning exactly with the grid template. the scheme’s subtle, integrated lighting animates the design, disseminating an aesthetic borne out of structural rigour, timeless geometric proportions and exacting materiality. the architecture has been distilled, reduced to an elemental state, enabling us to experience what is most real: its spatial tectonic singularity.



image © felix krumbholz



 image © felix krumbholz



image © felix krumbholz



image © felix krumbholz



image © felix krumbholz



image © felix krumbholz



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

  • a pool that Turrell would love

    dbkii says:
  • where is life where is life where is life where is life
    this is only water IF YOU SAY IT IS WATER
    ????????? what kind of water ???????? hot or COLD ???????
    soothing or BRACING ??????????
    OR is it water ???????? IS IT BUT AN ILLUSION
    a forth or fifth dimension ??
    to what kind of an experience ?????????????

    Paedra says:
  • it’s TEUTONIC, not tectonic!

    DAO says:
  • Wow, that’s a really nicely lit concrete box full of water….

    greg zurbay says:
  • A Master Class in harmonious eloquence using concrete and light.

    C.Davenport says:

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