How would you design a modern aquatic centre, suitable for public bathing, in front of Barcelona's Arc de Triomf? This is the theoretical challenge that Piscina & Wellness Barcelona is throwing down to students from architecture universities and schools all over the world in its International Competition for Students, now in its fourth edition. In their sketches, participants must introduce sustainable concepts and new ways of understanding aquatic facilities as spaces for wellness, health and community interaction.
The Barcelona's trade show challenges architecture students to design an aquatic centre in front of Barcelona's Arc de Triomf
The competition proposes that students design the conceptual project - its execution is not contemplated - of a hypothetical aquatic centre for public use located in front of the Arc de Triomf in Barcelona, which could use all or part of the area delimited by the Paseo de Lluís Companys between the monument and the Parc de la Ciutadella. In addition to the design of any type of sports, leisure, relaxation or recreational swimming pool, the exercise must functionally resolve accesses, interior routes, changing rooms, water area and other places open to users or that are basic to the management of a facility of these characteristics. The participants must also imagine the surroundings and organise the remaining exterior landscape space from the point of view of biodiversity and the relationship between architecture, city and landscape.
The jury - made up of architects and representatives of the pool and wellness sector and the competition's sponsor, Fluidra - will assess the application of sustainable concepts in the architectural proposal, as well as the implementation of innovative solutions that reflect on the value of water for uses related to health, wellness and the community. The linear nature of the project between the Arc de Triomf and the Parc de la Ciutadella will also be taken into account, as well as its character as a link between Ciutat Vella and the Eixample of the Cerdà Plan.
The competition is open to architecture students from any country (either individually or in teams), with the sole condition that they must be enrolled at some point in 2023 at an Official School of Architecture. The competition will award cash prizes to the three best projects. The deadline for submitting entries is 18 September 2023. The names of the winners will be announced on 27 November at a gala t to be held as part of the Piscina & Wellness Barcelona exhibition. The top three prizes, along with the finalist projects, will be on display to the public during the show.
In the third edition of the competition, held in 2021, 39 projects were submitted from 11 countries, mostly from India, China, Japan, Russia, Mexico and Spain, which imagined a supposed aquatic centre in front of the Sagrada Familia, in Plaza Gaudí in Barcelona. The winner was the "Aquatic Sanctuary" project presented by Ivana Angelova, Jingjing Ge and Wenqing Ding from the "International Program in Architecture and Urban Design" of Meiji University (Tokyo).
Preparing Piscina & Wellness Barcelona 2023
Organised by Fira de Barcelona in collaboration with the Spanish sector association ASOFAP, Piscina & Wellness Barcelona will be held from 27 to 30 November at the Gran Via venue and is expected to bring together more than 300 exhibitors, 65% of them international. The trade fair will showcase the entire value chain of the swimming pool product for residential and public use, as well as installations, equipment and accessories related to wellness, spa, fitness and outdoor decoration. The event will include different knowledge, networking and recognition activities, such as this Competition, the Piscina & Wellness Barcelona Awards to project the values of innovation and sustainability in the swimming pool and wellness sector; and the Wellness Experience Awards which distinguish the best spas, spas and thalassotherapy centres on the Iberian Peninsula and in the rest of Europe.