John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects
1461 E 4th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033
213 253 4740
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c. JFAK, 2020
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.