21-12-2023 Design

Natural stone and water are a perfect match at Quissac’s public pool

This aquatic center presented in the "Building with natural stone” competition succeeds in reducing its costs thanks to the choice of materials.

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The Maurice Perry municipal swimming pool located in central Quissac (in the Gard department, France) was renovated in 2023. Now more spacious, comfortable and modern, the facility successfully combines an elegant pool design with great energy efficiency while also paying tribute to local heritage. This fine pool project participated at the "Building with natural stone in the 21st century” architecture awards run by the Rocalia and Pierre Actual trade show.

 


The public pool reopens after two years of works

 

Despite a string of investments and maintenance works, Quissac’s aging municipal swimming pool was no longer satisfying its users’ needs, and was not compliant with current regulations. This prompted the Piémont Cévenol authority to launch this major refurbishment project, which entailed demolishing the existing building in 2021, in order to create a new public pool.

 

Quissac public pool
© Photo Séverin Malaud

 

This reconstruction project had three overarching design objectives:

 

  • identify the building more clearly in the public space;
  • give it a positive image;
  • integrate it in its surroundings.

 

To help it blend in, the pool's architecture intentionally recalls the region's typical building style.

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Client: Communauté de Communes du Piémont Cévenol
Project management: V2S Architectes - NAS Architecture
Stonework contractor: Atelier Philippe d’Art

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A sober pool design that fits into the landscape


The public pool features an L-shaped layout to clearly dissociate the “public” and “private” flows, which are separated at their intersection by a hall with a changing area and staff facilities. This hall also accommodates a waiting area overlooking the pools. The pool lockers are arranged along a natural stone gallery that leads to the toilets and showers.

 

© Photos Séverin Malaud

 

The facility has three pool and recreational areas:

 

  • a shallow pool (0.70 to 1.10 m deep) for children;
  • a swimming pool (1.20 to 1.80 m deep);
  • a water play area with 10 splash pads.

 

The pool has a stone surround, itself separated from a grassy area by a guardrail. This lawn benefits from the natural shade provided by pine trees. The area also serves as a stormwater basin!

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Natural stone construction for optimized pool operating costs


The porosity and high inertia of Vers stone makes for good thermal performance. It does not require any special treatment or maintenance, making this public pool easier to manage. On site, this material is fast and clean to work with, making it a great choice for reducing costs and waste. The stone is locally sourced and worked using rational construction techniques, satisfying economic requirements and cutting lead times.

 

Piscine publique de Quissac
© Photos Séveron Malaud

 

The swimming center also installed an air-water heat pump, which keeps the pools at a comfortable 28°C, as well as solar panels that produce 40% of the energy needed to heat the water in the pools and showers.

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Résultat : la piscine publique a une empreinte carbone faible. De quoi faciliter sa gestion en faisant baisser durablement ses factures d'énergie.

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Gard stone has been a sought-after material since ancient times


Gard stone from quarries in Vers-Pont-du-Gard was used to build the famous Pont du Gard aqueduct. Its coarse-grained, golden straw appearance, blending perfectly into its surroundings, has been charming architects for centuries. Today, it is in great demand for wine cellars. The Maurice Perry swimming center proves that it can also work for swimming pool projects!

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Architectural competitions are a great way to promote innovative pool projects. Have you built a remarkable aquatic facility? Showcase your project at the Pool Design Awards organized by Piscine Global!

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