Transformation from swimming pool to residential
The name Spaardersbad comes from the many people of Gouda who, during the crisis (1933), scraped together just enough money to build an indoor swimming pool.
Architect Wolter Bakker from the construction firm ‘De Vereenigde Sportfondsenbaden’ designed the building. In January 1939 the Spaardersbad was opened, and soon after it became one of the most visited swimming pools in the Netherlands.
Starting from the late 60s, the construction of multiple open air pools in the region led to a decline of visitors for the Spaardersbad. This deteriorating financial situation eventually led to a take-over by the municipality of Gouda. During a first renovation the dressing cabins were moved to the bath space. Twenty years later the building was renovated again. This time, the high pool edge was removed and the stairs to the bath were moved. However, the closing of the pool was inevitable after a new pool, the Groenhovenbad , was realized.
The Spaardersbad has been listed a monument by the Municipality since 1990. It has a high historical usage value as Gouda’s first indoor swimming pool, where, over the last 70 years, the Gouda community has learned how to swim. Moreover, this building is a rare example of a pre-war indoor swimming pool.
WHD and Mei architects and planners have developed a plan to preserve this special object and to transform it into a residential building with 6 unique apartments situated, like a circle, around the original pool. The swimming bath itself will remain a public space. The charming, introvert, brick outer façade will remain intact as well. Adjustments to the façade will be minimal, such as the adding of some window vistas. Enhancing the symmetry of the building, a new main entrance will make It possible to for the residents to enter their dwellings from the heart of the building.
To obtain light and air, the roof will be opened up, which will then expose the original steel roof construction. The construction continues inside the residential spaces where it will add a special layer of historical-building value to the interior.
Wooden boardwalks or bridges will provide entrance to the apartments at the height of the 1st floor (about 3 meters) above the pool. At the same height, the apartments will also contain a private veranda with view of the inner garden. The living sections of the apartments are situated here on the 1st floor, whereas the sleeping sections are situated one level below. Inside the original tiled walls of the pool small openings will be made to let daylight through to the sleeping areas. On the outer façade of the building, daylight openings are already bigger in size. All apartments will also have a private garden on this side of the building.
At the spot of the original characteristic chimney, a new glass elevator shaft will be placed. On top of this shaft there will be an artistic element that refers to the form and height of the original chimney.