In northeast Maastricht, new offices, residential dwellings and sports facilities are going up on the fringes of the park surrounding Geusselt Castle, which lends the area its name. Masterminded by Slangen + Koenis, the swimming pool complex is typically embellished with a tiled façade from Mosa and is at once the highlight and the heart of the district’s new sports complex.
The Geusseltbad is part of this ambitious modernization scheme. The architects at Slangen + Koenis increasingly play the part of general contractor for planning assignments of this kind. As a result, they enjoy a growing influence when it comes to implementing sustainable concepts and selecting materials. Accordingly, the highest energy-saving standards duly came to bear in the planning of the aquatic complex, an ensemble spanning five different pools and with a GSA of 1,400 square meters, which obviously uses substantial amounts of energy. However, thanks to triple glazing, solar panels and geothermal energy, the power consumption could be curbed to one third of what one would expect for a building of this size.
In addition, the architects also included the cradle-to-cradle principle as a fundamental design aspect. This principle not only specifies energy-saving standards, but it also involves a full product cycle at the end of which any materials used can be recycled and applied to a different purpose (hence the metaphor of the cradle.) So the architects choose Mosa anti-slip tiles for the floors, and Mosa tiles in the wet areas, where they feature a refreshing palette of colours. Tiles of various dimensions in beige and brown shades were used for the walls in the corridors and the dining area, emphasising the linear structure of the Geusseltbad. One hundred percent C2C materials and pigments were used in producing the tiles; in regard to sourcing, both the clay and the pigments are from a known origin.
And not only that – the Terra Tones ceramic façade in three different shades of black also delivers on the sustainable concept. Here, the firm teamed up with Dutch ceramics manufacturer Mosa to design the fine ceramic tiles, which on the back of a two-year development phase were awarded the cradle-to-cradle certificate. The highly aesthetic modular façade is composed of elements of different widths and depths; it breathes dynamic life into the closed surfaces and playfully succeeds in breaking up the Geusseltbad’s rather stringent formal vernacular. At the same time, it alludes to the tradition of ceramics manufacturing in Maastricht where Mosa produces its wares – albeit with a firm eye on the future. With the design of the Geusseltbad, Slangen + Koenis Architecten and Mosa have proven that, in the swimming pool of the future, aesthetics and innovation go hand in hand with sustainability.