The competition proposal for the National Swimming Centre in Tenero attempts to define a settlement strategy that can present itself as a synthesis between architectural-spatial, material-structural, and technical-plant conditions. Two higher-level architectural elements define the transformation: a base raised off the ground, an artificial horizontal plane, a correlative horizon instrument, capable of becoming a place onto which the different spaces required by the competition are engrafted and a frame-system that can create the roofing system with geometric clarity, with varying open spaces, glazed volumes, and opaque elements. The design of the swimming structure consists of a perimeter system defined by a variable inhabited thickness that houses the service spaces, building a sequence of open and covered internal cavities that house the main spaces, the swimming pools and the transition spaces. The large main outdoor pool opens onto the lake and the countryside albeit in a space well defined by the roofing beams around the perimeter, which encircle the outer edge, constructing multiple views, to the sky, to the lake, to the surrounding countryside, constructing open-air framing by redefining the outdoor pool space as a large open-air room.
The system of residences to the north consists of three linear volumes also placed on a base to close the system in a rhythmic relationship of solids and empty spaces, open space and built space. The gym, on the side of the swimming pool structure, is a precise square-shaped element in which an internal sequence of inhabited spaces on two sides houses the service spaces, storage areas and changing rooms. Access is from a side patio, while the main space of the gym opens on the corner with two glazed elements, creating a visual continuity with the surrounding open space. The dichotomy between cavity and limit defines the entire design, the empty spaces follow on from one another in the construction of a clear and precise spatial sequence; rigour and order can also be found in the design of the open spaces, in which there are sequences of vegetation and spaces equipped for outdoor sports. Structurally, the entire roofing system of the swimming pool building and the gym has been sized in relation to the highest-stressed load condition and the highest span, creating a truss network “wall” consisting of steel reticular beams, covered in exposed reinforced concrete. The grid of girders rests on reinforced concrete partitions that create hollow volumes, classed as serving spaces, structurally defined as genuine hollow pillars. The roof of the diving pool consists of an orthogonal grid of double-T steel beams about 1.50 metres high, and placed at a distance of 2.50 metres.
The “coffered” roof is supported on four sides by steel pillars, positioned in a manner consistent with the ribbing above at a centre distance of about 2.50 metres, with a height of 6 metres, made with HEA 240 steel profiles, to ensure there is a section strong enough to absorb the load transmitted by the roof and to prevent phenomena related to the peak load. The system is then closed by four reticular beams 6 metres high and made with HE 260 steel profiles.
Client: Ufficio federale delle costruzioni e della logistica UFCL – Competition
Volume: 69.000 m3
Surface: 23.000 m2
Project year: 2017
Architectural project: FORM_A
Design team: Andrea Fradegrada, Sandra Maglio, Giovanni Munafò, Simone Natoli con Gino Baldi, Serena Comi, Roberta D’Agrosa
Consultants: Franco Zavagno agronomo