2012 Sylvia Carola SchusterSylvia Carola Schuster - Conversion of the Old Swimming Bath
The old town of Hürth near Cologne is affected by a huge number of listed buildings such as churches and various profane buildings – many of them used for cultural purposes, some of them without current purpose.
In 1929 Architect Albert Lüttgenau built an ensemble consisting of a swimming bath and a professional school. Both buildings are designed in the 1920s Brick Expressionism style. The reduction to simple geometric volumes with very few decorative elements and the detailed façade design are exceptional characteristics of the building.
Since the 1990s the formerly highly frequented swimming pool is no longer in use. To stop the already started decay it is necessary to find a new purpose for the building. The existing structure has two contrary aspects: on the one hand the spacious hall with the pool itself and on the other hand the outer part divided into small sections – changing cubicles, baths and shower baths. An expedient conversion respects the historic preservation and – at the same time – creates a new space that fulfills contemporary requirements.
Hürth is an expanding location for media. Companies such as advertising agencies are potential clients for a representative building as the historical swimming pool in the centre of the old town.
Aim is to combine the existing building character with its huge light atrium and some of the extraordinary details with a contemporary functional structure that secures a long-term reasonable and economical usage.
A ‘house in house’ solution keeps any interference into the building shell as small as possible and it maintains the general impression of the interior by keeping distance between old and new architecture.

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