SK SWIM CENTER
Ulsan, South Korea | 2005
Located in a new park between Ulsan’s ragged urban edge and a national forest, this 50,000 SF structure clearly defines the city’s boundary, providing a much-needed recreational facility for this ad hoc, industrial city. 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. A result of simultaneously addressing the park’s entrance, avoiding an existing underground culvert, and maximizing the promenade facing the lake, the building’s curved form also serves to naturalize the building’s large size.
An open space between the visitors’ center and the entry to the pools creates an outdoor foyer that provides protection from the elements and welcomes people entering the park on foot. The swimming hall provides views of the mountains and lake outside, and 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