The Westside Pool, a 2012 Quality Of Life project will provide El Paso with the city’s first 50 meter, competition-ready Natatorium facility.
The new Natatorium will be built adjacent to the existing Leo Cancellare Memorial Pool in west El Paso with a direct connection between the two pool decks so that both facilities can be used in conjunction for competitive meets.
We began the design process for the new pool by engaging the public in a series of public meetings where the public could participate in the design process. Real time, interactive voting was used as a tool to solicit input at the first public meeting.
Using the feedback received in the electronic voting process, In*Situ developed a charrette style design exercise for the second meeting where the participants could design their ideal pool within a given budget. This valuable exercise has informed the design process as we are developing options for a final conceptual design.
In*Situ designed the Natatorium building to include many contemporary architectural details including:
- Separate areas for competitors and spectators with arena seating for about 780 spectators in a mezzanine level overlooking the pool.
- A Butterfly roof aligns the cross-sectional volume of the building with the function of the natatorium – thus improving the efficiency of the building’s mechanical systems.
- Composite wood glulam and steel trusses to span over the pool and spectators with a beautiful exposed long-span structural system.
- Tilt-up concrete panels form a durable, low maintenance structural shell with embedded reveals, glass fins and steel mesh solar shades to modulate the facade while protecting the interior from direct solar gain and glare.
The Natatorium will house a new 50 meter by 25 yard pool with three depths along its length to accommodate competitive timed swimming, water polo, and programmed swimming events. The building takes advantage of its site by orienting large expanses of glazing directly from the pool deck towards the expansive view of the Franklin Mountains while bring desirable indirect daylight into the natatorium from its north-east orientation.
Through the City of El Paso Museum and Cultural Affairs Department’s public art program, the In*Situ team has collaborated with the internationally acclaimed artist and architect Marc Fornes to incorporate a major public art component into the architecture itself — framing the entrance to the building.
Fornes’ prototypical structures and unique organic environments are included within the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou, the FRAC Centre and the CNAP. He has been exhibited at institutions worldwide including the Guggenheim and sold work at Art Basel Miami/GGG, Art Paris, Phillips de Pury and Sotherby’s. His practice was also awarded New Practices New York by the AIA (2012), the Architectural League Prize (2013), Design Vanguard by Architectural Record (2013) and the WAN 21 for 21 Award.
Design of the Westside Pool is 90% complete and will be ready for bidding and construction soon.