The architectural team of VenhoevenCS and Ateliers 2/3/4/, in cooperation with Bouygues Batiment Ile de France, Récréa, Dalkia and an extensive team of consultants, has won the competition to design the new Aquatics Centre in Paris. It is the only building that will be built for the Olympics Games of 2024 and includes a new pedestrian bridge that connects it with the existing ‘Stade de France.’
This plan goes beyond environmental regulations and requirements. Sustainability and biodiversity are critical in all aspects of the design. It is a modern and innovative sports complex surrounded by abundant vegetation that enormously contributes to a livable and healthy city district for Saint-Denis people. To stimulate a healthy lifestyle after the Olympics, the building will be open and transparent and accommodate a wide range of sports and events, both indoor and outdoor.
"The Aquatics centre invites nature itself in the heart of the new ‘city-district-in-the-making’ of Saint-Denis. This compact proposal creates room for one hundred trees that will be planted to improve the quality of life and air, stimulate biodiversity and create new ecological connections." Explains the studio.
Wood, one of the quintessential bio-based construction materials, is used to create the main structure of this building. The Aquatics centre's design features an impressive wooden roof, a suspended shape with minimal construction height that strictly follows the required minimum space for tribunes, people, and sightlines, thereby minimizing the amount of air that needs to be conditioned during the coming 50 years. By using wood for this monumental structure, the proposal doubles the required minimum percentage of bio-sourced materials. With tribunes on three sides, the Olympic arena under the roof can host 5000 spectators around an innovative, modular and multifunctional competition pool.
Energy consumption is one of the significant challenges for swimming pools due to water treatment and high-temperature demands. By reducing the demand and creating a smart power system, 90% of the needed energy can be provided with renewable or recovered energy. The solar roof will be one of France's biggest solar farms and will cover 25% of all required electricity production, which is the equivalent of the electric power use of 200 households.
Water is both a vital element of a swimming pool and one of the resources we should preserve most. With a very efficient water system, we can seriously reduce the need for freshwater, re-use 50% of the remaining water and still guarantee enough clean water for all purposes.
Upcycling was also the primary design principle. All furniture in restaurants, bars and entrances is made out of wood waste from the construction site and other demolition sites. All tribune chairs are newly designed and made out of 100% recycled plastic collected from Saint-Denis schools.
By gathering people around sports and leisure, the new Aquatics centre creates a livable neighbourhood that builds bridges between cultures and districts that use the facilities and surrounding public spaces of the Aquatics centre. This proposal also makes a literal connection, with a new pedestrian bridge that crosses the highway and connects the public areas around Stade de France with the aquatic centre and the new heart of the future Eco neighbourhood of La Plaine Saulnier. Finally, this design also promises an innovative Aquatics centre supported by the community, with local associations and enterprises.
"The design for the new Aquatics centre for the Olympic Games 2024 is a balanced ecosystem in itself. It shows how sustainable design concepts can evolve in contemporary architectural aesthetics that contribute to improving the quality of life in our cities." Said VenhoevenCS Architects.
Name project: Aquatics Centre Paris 2024
Location: 361 Avenue du Président Wilson, 93200 Saint-Denis, Paris
Client: Métropole du Grand Paris
Main contractor: Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France
Architects: VenhoevenCS architecture+urbanism, Amsterdam, Ateliers 2/3/4/, Paris
Project partners: Cécilia Gross and Laure Mériaud
Project managers: Yves de Pommereau, Tjeerd Hellinga, Julie Fuchs
Landscape architect: Ateliers 2/3/4/
Project managers: Arnaud Talon and Clément Arnaud
Structural engineer: SBP Schlaich Bergermann partner
Water treatment: Katène
Acoustic consultant: Peutz
Sustainability consultant: Indiggo
Economist: Mazet & Associés
Security consultant: CSD & Associés
Floor area: approx. 20.000 m2
Building Costs: 126M €
Completion: April 2024 for the Olympic committee
Open to the general public: Summer 2025
VenhoevenCS is an innovative bureau for sustainable architecture, urban development, and infrastructure, attuned to meeting the challenges of our time. Founded by Ton Venhoeven in Amsterdam in 1995, VenhoevenCS has since grown into a renowned design and consultancy practice, with five partners and an international team of architects, urban planners, and technical engineers.