"sb" 3/2013: Pool with a view

Badboot in Antwerp

One of the world’s biggest floating open-air swimming pools opened on the Eilandje in Antwerp, Belgium at the Kattendijkdok in August 2012. The pool is made from an old ferry boat. With a total length of 120 metres, Badboot can accommodate 600 people and consists of a swimming pool, two event venues, several floors and a restaurant with a lounge terrace. Badboot was designed by architect Pieter Peerlings and Silvia Mertens of Sculp(IT) Architecten.

The project arose from the city’s need to provide more amenities and another outdoor public swimming pool. Sculp(IT) came up with the concept for the floating swimming pool built from a reclaimed ferry boat, proposed it to the city and was awarded the project.

The Badboot can be moved to another site and will be open throughout the year. In winter, the swimming pool is converted into an ice rink. Guests can also enjoy winter barbecues and winter sports activities (such as curling) on the Badboot. Badboot has a contract with the City of Antwerp for 10 years. After that it could be moved or maintained as such.

The eco-friendly elements employed here include recycled materials, LED lighting and a reedbed water filtration system. Rather than running the river water through pipes and tubes and than dumping a load of chlorine into the water, Badboot holds a swampy reed garden that filters out all of the water’s impurities.

A total terrace area of no less than 750 m² ensures that swimmers can enjoy an après-swim drink with a magnificent view of the MAS (Museum aan de Stroom), the port and the new projects at Antwerp’s Docklands.