img(height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2939831959404383&ev=PageView&noscript=1")

The Bathing Pools, Guernsey

Words:
Regional Awards Jury

La Vallette pools have been restored by DLM Architects with close community collaboration, reviving a tradition begun in 1865 and winning a 2024 RIBA South East Award

The Bathing Pools. Peter Landers
The Bathing Pools. Peter Landers

2024 RIBA South East Award

The Bathing Pools, Guernsey
DLM Architects for Vive La Vallette LBG

Contract value: £1.5m
GIA: 297m2
Cost per m2: £5,055

Outdoor swimming has become increasingly popular since the Covid 19 pandemic, and this project at St Peter Port in Guernsey aims to cater for new participants. It involved a mixture of refurbishment, rebuilding and extension of run-down existing facilities, to provide the best possible accommodation for swimmers of all ages. Despite being situated on a steep cliff and spread over four levels, the building is now fully accessible for all, and the essentials for outdoor swimming are open 24 hours a day. For less adventurous visitors, the entrance is into the café – now a lively and social space with a roaring log fire. Successfully integrating architecture with nature, the design makes a positive impact on both the community and the environment. With a £1.5m construction cost and taking just a year from planning permission to completion, it is a great testament to both architect and client.

  • The Bathing Pools. Peter Landers
    The Bathing Pools. Peter Landers
  • The Bathing Pools. Peter Landers
    The Bathing Pools. Peter Landers
  • The Bathing Pools. Peter Landers
    The Bathing Pools. Peter Landers
  • The Bathing Pools. Peter Landers
    The Bathing Pools. Peter Landers
1234

This project is a great example of what architecture can do for a community, encouraging health and promoting wellbeing not only through physical activity but also through the spirit of togetherness. It was obvious to the jury that both client and design team understood the effects of their endeavours.

There have been outdoor swimming pools on the site, known as La Vallette, since 1865. In 2019, a charitable trust was founded with the aim of redeveloping the much-loved but dilapidated facilities to create ‘a vibrant and accessible destination for the community to enjoy’. The States of Guernsey committed £300,000 to the proposals the trust presented, which was supplemented by corporate sponsorship, grants, and private donations. The concept was developed to respond to the site’s topography and exposure to harsh weather conditions – knitting itself into the rocky outcrop while introducing a formal and linear elevation to the pools.

The ground floor of the existing building was retained and refurbished, but the upper floor, including entrance and café, has been completely rebuilt and a new function room added above. While the surrounding buildings display a more homogeneous materiality, the remodelled pools buildings have different cladding on different levels – a decision that reflects the architect’s willingness to liaise with and listen to the views of a large and engaged community group.

  • The Bathing Pools. Peter Landers
    The Bathing Pools. Peter Landers
  • The Bathing Pools. Peter Landers
    The Bathing Pools. Peter Landers
  • The Bathing Pools. Chris George
    The Bathing Pools. Chris George
  • The Bathing Pools. Peter Landers
    The Bathing Pools. Peter Landers
  • The Bathing Pools. Peter Landers
    The Bathing Pools. Peter Landers
12345

The jury was immediately struck by the sense of energy and cheerfulness among the building’s users, and the social nature of the shared tables in the café. Photographs going back many decades adorn its walls, helping to accentuate the sense of history and community.

The architect has created a space that not only respects the past but also fosters a sustainable and thriving future. This is a wonderful building for an engaged community, of which users and all the design team can be proud.

See the rest of the RIBA South East winners hereAnd all the RIBA Regional Awards here

To see the whole RIBA Awards process visit architecture.com

RIBA Regional Awards 2024 sponsored by EH Smith and Autodesk

Credits

Contractor RG Falla
Structural engineer Dorey Lyle & Ashman
Environmental/M&E engineer Henderson Green

 

Credit: DLM Architects
Credit: DLM Architects
Credit: DLM Architects
Credit: DLM Architects
Credit: DLM Architects
Credit: DLM Architects

Latest articles

Webinar: Addressing Onsite Safety using Fall Protection Systems

  1. Products

Webinar: Addressing Onsite Safety using Fall Protection Systems

PiP Design for Sustainability Webinar 2024

  1. Products

PiP Design for Sustainability Webinar 2024