Interview with Architecture student Kristine Kleivi

Well Arena

Text: Matt Carey
Renderings of model: Kristine Kleivi
Portrait photo: Johan Ronnestam

The spectator area is focused on the olympic pool at the centre of the circle. The building’s dome-shaped roof features an exposed wooden gridshell construction, clad with BAUX acoustic tiles. The BAUX cladding connects the roof to the pool level with pine greens and natural wood wool colours, creating a cohesive feel to the space.

The circular form of the building brings the focus naturally towards the swimmers competing in the main pool whilst the length and curved form of the long distance pool creates the sense of swimming in stretches of open water. In the distance pool, 25 metre long BAUX designs help to reduce noise reflections from tunnel effect and help swimmers to mark and judge distance.

Tell us briefly about the environment you’ve been working on?

I’ve designed a swimming arena built into the ground, with an entrance above the ground level. The concept is like a water well – water comes from the earth and we use ground and rain water to fill the pool. The building is circular, like a well, with athletes at the centre of the circle. There’s also a long distance swimming area. The building can hold approximately six thousand spectators.

What was the biggest challenge for you during the design process? 

Working to scale and creating a large space. Humidity and acoustics were also both challenging when designing a functional swimming arena. BAUX materials were helpful in optimizing both.

How did you incorporate BAUX products into your model? 

It’s quite normal to use acoustic panels in swimming pool roofs, to reduce noise reflections. I wanted to make the gridshell pop out and add colour and textures. I had an idea to connect the dome to the pool level, to make it a seamless transition. BAUX materials helped me to do both, with the right colour combinations in the space. BAUX designs fixed the acoustics but the tiles also help to regulate humidity. I’ve also used BAUX designs in the hallways and the long distance pool where acoustics could suffer from tunnel effect. I’ve used horizontal forms to exaggerated the horizontal shapes in the space.

How is your design connected to the future of wellbeing?
Sport is an important part of wellbeing. Having a place to go and do physical activity is important for our health. It’s also important to create a building that is sustainable from the ground up and has less demands on natural resources. Well Arena is a tactile space for people to feel relaxed and comfortable in beautiful surroundings. It’s about helping people to feel good.

Swimming halls and indoor arenas are notoriously problematic acoustic environments. As the number of spectators viewing events increases so does the noise floor as sounds bounce around the space. BAUX wood wool materials have been used to reduce sound reflections and also regulate humidity, making it a more comfortable space for swimmers and spectators alike.

Kristine Kleivi is from Oslo, in the third year of her master’s degree at NTNU in Trondheim. She believes architecture should be innovative yet routed in local traditions. Travel is her biggest source of inspiration and she loves to explore new places and learn new things.

Visit BAUX during Clerkenwell Design Week 2023 to see all the models live. More info about Clerkenwell to come during the spring of 2023.

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