SK Swim Center
Ulsan, South Korea / Completed 2002
Urban Edge: Located in a new park between Ulsan’s ragged urban edge and a national forest, this 50,000 square foot structure clearly defines the city’s boundary and provides a much-needed recreational facility for this ad hoc, industrial city. Addressing the challenge of its long narrow site, the project lays out three unrelated programmatic elements in a linear arrangement under two large overhanging roofs.
Site Response: The building’s curved form is a result of simultaneously addressing the park’s entrance, avoiding an existing underground culvert, and maximizing the promenade facing the lake, but it also has the effect naturalizing the building’s large size.
Sheltering Roofs: An open space between the visitors’ center and the entry to the pools creates an outdoor foyer that provides protection from sun and rain and also forms a portal for people filtering into the park by foot. The swimming hall is set under its own high floating roof while its locker rooms, the park’s administrative offices, and a visitors’ center are condensed under a curving roof plane that slopes down to the park’s entrance.
Artifice and Nature: The swimming hall is contained in a large, trussed shed with two glazed walls that provide views of the mountains and lake outside. The collection of pools is further activated by natural light from numerous skylights. Responding to the toughness of the urban condition, the long, primarily opaque elevation facing the city is clad with corrugated aluminum panels and lead-coated copper.
- Design Architect: John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects
Principal-in-Charge: John Friedman
Project Architect: Diane Hong
Project Team: Alice Kimm, John Martin, Ray Shapiro, Pauline Shu, Tom Vitous
Project Assistants: Dan Brunn, Yoji Eguchi, Joel Cichowski, Joe Fleischer, Dave Grant, Tom Steidl, Marlin Watson
Structural Engineer: SAC International, Ltd., William Koh and Associates, Inc.
Executive Architect: SAC International, Ltd.
General Contractor: SK Engineering and Construction Corporation
Photography: Ho Kwan Park
- SK Corporation
- 2008 100 x 400 Vol. 2, (Rihan.CC)
- 2005 Espacios Deportivos (Instituto Monsa de Ediciones)
- 2004 The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture (Phaidon)