World's longest swimming pool concept wins the Holcim Gold Award


October 26, 2011

The Flussbad conversion will create the world's longest swimming pool amidst the historic center of Berlin (image: united:realities)

The Flussbad conversion will create the world's longest swimming pool amidst the historic center of Berlin (image: united:realities)

Image Gallery (9 images)

The 3rd International Holcim Awards for sustainable construction projects from across Europe were recently announced at a ceremony in Milan, with the German architectural firm realities:united taking first prize for its Flussbad proposal. Led by architect Tim Edler, Flussbad would transform a stretch of the River Spree in Berlin into a 745 meter (almost 0.5 mile) -long "swimming pool." That's about the size of 17 Olympic pools! It is hoped that the project will provide Berlin residents with a new way to use the city's historic center, whilst taking advantage of a currently unused section of Berlin's inner city river.

The renewal concept for the 3.9-hectare (9.6-acre) site is "surprisingly simple and very cost-efficient" says realities:united. Parts of the Lustgarten quay would be transformed into stairs, creating an access point to the swimming pool, recreation gardens and functional facilities such as lockers, change rooms and bathrooms. The plans incorporate an upper 1.8-hectare (4.4-acre) reed bed, which would naturally purify the water entering the swimming pool, whilst a barrage at the lower end of the system would prevent backflow of unfiltered water from the river.

The conversion will not only create the world's longest swimming pool, but would also create a popular attraction amidst the historic center of Berlin. The Holcim Awards jury commended the proposal as "an excellent example of what could be achieved within challenging inner city areas that possess a rich tradition and cultural heritage where the local public has been overlooked."

A group of entrepreneurs have proposed a similar project, the +Pool, for the rivers in New York City.

About the Author
Bridget Borgobello Bridget is an experienced freelance writer, presenter and performer with a keen eye for innovative design and a passion for green technology. Australian born, Bridget currently resides in Rome and when not scribbling for Gizmag, she spends her time developing new web series content and independent cinema. All articles by Bridget Borgobello

While this is certainly a looong pool, this is still very small compared to the really longest swimming pool in the world.. located in Chili with 1.013 meters !!

.. and if I can choose I think I prefer to swim in the Chilean one ;-)


I like the idea, it would just need some access control to keep the kiddies out.


Berlin is at a higher latitude than any American city not in Alaska, so I have to ask: How often does it get hot enough for the average Berliner to need a swim to cool off? I imagine not very often. I could see this pool in Madrid but not Berlin. In Berlin it would just be a giant boondoggle.


Those stairs look like the ghats in India.

Mark in SB

Because of the Gulfstream latitude temperature correlation is different in europe. Berlin is as i would guess from personal experience about the temperature of NY City and there are a lot of "Freibäder" meaning outdoor pools in Germany. In good summers it is very possible to have 4-5 months of 25 °C

Post a Comment

Login with your Gizmag account:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our articles