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Finckensteinallee swimming pool in Berlin, Germany

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For years the historically important Finckensteinallee swimming pool was closed – danger of collapse! In 2014, it was reopened after four years of restoration and allocated third place in the Heinze Architects award 2015. Restoration was also carried out with the help of Objektmanagements of the East Westphalian building product specialist SCHOMBURG. Many products around the topics of waterproofing and tile installation were used.
The restoration of the listed building in the Lichterfeld area of Berlin in the district of Steglitz-Zehlendorf was possible thanks to EC aid money. Today the pool is a purely sports orientated baths. There are no wellness facilities such as whirlpools or saunas – there is also no non-swimmer pool. The reasons behind this lies with conservation restoration principles. The historical building was to be reconstructed as true to the original as possible – which originally had a 25 x 50 metre swimming pool tank.
The swimming pool building came into being in 1937 and was at that time the largest of its type in Europe. The building stands on the former grounds of the main Prussian cadet school. In 1933 the SS took residence here. The cadet school became the headquarters of Adolf Hitler’s personal bodyguard (SS Leibstandart). After the war the Russian military initially took possession of the grounds but then in July 1945 the US armed forces took up residence and later named it Andrews Barracks.
The Finckensteinallee swimming pool building is a steel reinforced concrete building and with a 25 x 50 m pool tank, is suitable for Olympic purposes. The building has a rectangular footprint of around 73 x 33 metres. The shortest sides were produced in the style of a Greek temple to a width of approximately 24 metres and were carried by quadratic pillars. The pitched roof is covered with grey sheet membrane. The entire structure is clad in facing bricks.
The 50 m swimming pool has ten lanes with starting blocks. The restored pool tank has a capacity of 2,500 m3 (4,000 m3 before reconstruction). It is clad with light blue natural stone tiles. The swimming pool surround is clad with beige coloured small format, slip resistant tiles.
The Architectural office responsible Veauthier Meyer Architekten GmbH put forward and integrated conservation and design concept. All measures for the pivotal swimming pool and adjoining rooms were to complement each other. This meant that many functional, technical and design measures relevant to conservation were meaningfully interlocked and implemented. Recognizable “modern” design layers (materials, colours, lighting) were meaningfully achieved. The old pool tank was ripped out and a new construction placed in the original position. All requirements for a modern pool were fulfilled. In the restoration it was decided to position the showers centrally and to preserve the wall structure. As the swimming pool was originally purely for male use, all sanitary areas had to be made anew separately for both sexes and secluded within the confines of the existing area.
SCHOMBURG supplied products for waterproofing and tile installation in the pool tank as well as the pool surround and the wet change areas. Application of the products was carried out by Gerold Beck. All waterproofing work was carried out with the mineral-based, reactive setting, flexible waterproof slurry AQUAFIN-RS300. With support from SCHOMBURG project management, the technical details could be discussed on site and professionally implemented so that after completion a defect free construction could be delivered.

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