A sculpture to walk on. And dive from. The architect responsible, Fredrik Pettersson, has produced a creation standing on discreet legs one metre above the surface of the sea, a hundred metres out from the shore.
The visitor crosses a long bridge to reach a circular installation that gradually rises up out of the sea. It is topped off with a trampoline at a height of five metres – which the inventor has yet to try…
“My idea was to achieve a sculptural, dynamic form that can be seen from the land, from the sea and from the air,” says Fredrik Pettersson. “The silhouette changes as the spectator moves around it.”
The aim was to use the shape to build in functions such as changing, sunbathing and bathing areas in a simple design that compares favourably with the wide expanse of the sea. A clear concept that is also faces the beach in a welcoming manner. This is nothing private or exclusive, rather a facility open to everyone, regardless of age, physical mobility or needs. Bathing is not compulsory, even thought it looks inviting.
The circular construction offers shelter whatever the wind direction, and all the platform’s 870 square metres of wooden deck are at the disposal of the visitors. The structure in the water is complemented by a new sandy beach and adjacent service building, with toilets and dressing rooms adapted for disabled visitors. Azobe timber was chosen due to the material’s durability and strength in salt water. It is not attacked by shipworms and has the same lifetime as steel.
The lighting has been added to emphasise the sculptural design. There are both LED spotlights along the bridge out to the ‘shell’, as well as upward-facing floodlights that illuminate the inside of the structure, producing a spectacular and beautiful effect at dusk and in the dark. Even at times when only winter bathers dare to enter the water.
After 50 years of discussions on what to do with the area, everything is now ready – including enormous amounts of sand that have been pumped up from the sea bed. The White project was quickly converted a mistreated and shabby industrial beach environment into a popular outdoor area.
And the actual architecture attracted a great deal of national and international attention, both in the media and in terms of awards. Fredrik Pettersson has even been compared with the Danish architectural icon Jørn Utzon.
“It is a positive confirmation that the things I like can also be popular with others,” says Fredrik Pettersson. “In addition, all the praise and all the media noise represent a success for White in general and for the Danish office in particular.”
Tårnby Local Authority
Architecture and landscape:
Fredrik Pettersson (head of project),
Rasmus Skaarup, Pernille Vermund, Göran Wihl, Henrik Haremst, Johnny Gere.
NIRAS Rådgivende ingeniører og Planlæggere A/S
Københavns Dykkerentreprise A/S
Ole Haupt, White arkitekter, Erco Lighting