architecture for seawater swimming


With the arrival of warm days and blue skies, the citizens of Copenhagen head out for the sand of the beach and to swim in the sea. Some hardy citizens can be seen swimming outside all year round, but the buildings of the swimming baths come into their own in the summer.

These structures provide changing facilities but they also mark a safe area for swimming, keeping boats out, and their platforms are used for jumping or diving into the water and the screens give something to lean against to get out of the breeze for sun bathing.


Charlottenlund Søbad (top), north of Copenhagen and just above the 17th-century fortress, is a more traditional construction for swimmers that is built out into the sea as a jetty with wooden-boarded huts for the facilities for changing.



At the south end of Amager Strand, south and east of the city, is Kastrup Søbad, designed by White Arkitekter and completed in 2005. This is also built out into the sea on a timber jetty but here forming a dramatic sweeping curve. Again the screen shelters bathers and facing landward it means sun bathers get the best of the afternoon and evening sun.



In the city, just below Langebro, are the two harbour baths for seawater swimming - the Islands Brygge harbour baths (above) by PLOT/BIG from 2003 and immediately opposite, on the other side of the harbour, is Kalvebod Wave by JDS Architects (below) completed in 2013.