FAABORG – When it opened in 2002, Copenhagen’s Harbour Bath became an immediate hit. Though the young architectural duo behind it (Bjarke Ingels and Julien De Smedt) has since split up, the hype has not died down. Now, the latest incarnation of this typology has been unveiled in the Danish town of Faaborg, designed by JDS Architects and Urban Agency.
‘The nearest beach is far away, and we wanted to bring public life back to the town’s waterfront,’ the architects from Urban Agency explain. Not being content with merely reproducing the original, the Faaborg project turns the Copenhagen precedent inside out and injects extra programmatic components, packing it all in a familiar form of an undulating wooden deck.
The new harbour bath is an outward-oriented, three-pronged, timber-clad pier extending out into the sea, whilst being connected to the town’s footpath system. Each prong caters to a different programme; one contains children’s swimming pool, another provides water access for kayaks and the longest culminates in a tribune and viewing platform. In addition, the structure’s deck rises in order to accommodate toilets and facilities for the kayaking club, creating a diverse topography and adding much needed facilities to ensure an all-year round use.
All of this – in combination with long opening hours – means that the harbour bath is already attracting a steady stream of visitors: quite an achievement in a town of 7000 inhabitants.