Refurbishment and extension of Starnberg lakeside swimming pool

Unobstructed view of the lake panorama

The facility’s unique location right on the northern shore of Lake Starnberg was the do­minant feature behind the competition design of Munich-based Seifert Hugues Architekten in its refurbishment and extension of the indoor and outdoor swimming pool built in 1972. Reorganised and redesigned, the “Seebad Starnberg” lakeside pool is now oriented towards its natural surroundings, incorporating them into the interior and opening up a panoramic view of the lake and the mountains.

The indoor swimming facility with its multi-­purpose and teaching pools was built at the beginning of the 1970s and extended to include a family pool in the mid-1980s. Those in charge at the municipality of Starnberg then recently opted for the comprehensive moder­nisation, extension and redesign of the facility. Conceived as a leisure-oriented family and competition pool with appropriate health and wellness facilities, it has been designed to primarily serve the population of Starnberg and the surrounding area.

Starnberg 1807-Hugues-Seifert_Schwimmbad_55.jpg

Photos: Rainer Viertlböck



Photos: Rainer Viertlböck

Starnberg, Germany

City of Starnberg

Seifert Hugues Architekten GmbH
DE-80331 München

Landscape architects
Lohrer Hochrein LA BDLA

Structural design
Schneck Schaal Braun
Ingenieurgesellschaft Bauen mbH

Building services planning (MEP)
Kannewischer Ing.Ges.mbH

Project controlling
WSP Deutschland AG

Martina Helzel

Rainer Viertlböck

July 2018

Construction costs
EUR 21.8 million

In order to accommodate the additional circulation and service areas for the outdoor and indoor pools, sauna and restaurant required by the space allocation programme, the three-part existing complex has been extended to the west by elongating two existing building units. The central section comprising changing rooms, staff rooms, administration and teaching pool has been adjoined by a new entrance hall; a building containing a restaurant and sauna has been placed in front of the swimming hall. The restaurant terrace in front of the building on the first floor extends over a substantial base building that encompasses the southwest corner. Below this is the central sauna area. Detached from the main building, the sauna area unfolds with individual sauna cabins arranged along a “pontoon” towards the lake. Thanks to their resemblance to boat houses, the sauna cabins blend harmoniously into the typical shoreline of Lake Starnberg.

The new foyer presents itself as an inviting, ­light-flooded hall. The reception in the immediate vicinity of the entrance includes not only the cash desk but also all the services and offers required in the bathing area. All user areas, including the lido, are now readily accessible via the two-storey foyer. All areas can be reached via a shared, disabled-friendly lift. In addition to the building’s wheelchair-accessible design, disabled-friendly changing areas and access to the pools via a lift and seating steps, the facility is equipped with a guidance system for the blind, induction loops and visual warning systems in addition to acoustic systems.


Starnberg 1807-Hugues-Seifert_Schwimmbad_40.jpg

Photos: Rainer Viertlböck

Photos: Rainer Viertlböck

The restaurant on the first floor has its own entrance from the forecourt and an independently accessed panorama terrace. It is mainly operated separately and also has its own event area on the second floor.

The new façade seamlessly encloses the existing building and extensions and unites them in a whole. Closed areas are faced with wooden cladding made of ­hydrophobic, pre-patinated white fir profile strips. The appearance of the large-area glass façade with its mullion-transom design on the east, south and west sides is dominated by a curtain-type finned construction. The horizontal blades arranged at regular intervals in the area from the glazed first floor upwards provide sun and glare protection and reduce the risk of bird strike.

In the course of façade refurbishment, the south façade of the indoor swimming pool was shifted slightly outwards to create more circulation space around the pool and interlink the various functional areas. The ventilation equipment of the indoor swimming pools has now been relocated to the roof above the changing area and the teaching pool and has required an additional steel support structure above the roof shell.

Light wood and natural colours define the appearance of the lakeside facility, complemented in the interior by a few lively colours. The indoor pool, for example, features bright shades of green, while the sauna landscape is bathed in warm orange and the outdoor pool in light blue. Rooms that had previously been poorly lit, such as the changing rooms and the teaching pool area, are now provided with light slots, supplemented by mirrors to spread the light and visually enhance the impression. Newly created visual links between inside and outside as well as between the areas themselves provide transparency.

In the more highly frequented and representational areas of the extension buildings, the matt-gloss marbled design of the walls is continued. White fir acoustic panels on the ceilings not only improve the acoustics, but also filter the radiant sunlight in front of the window openings in a translucent screen. In the sauna cabins, the wooden cladding of the façade extends into the interior and thus almost imperceptibly links the interior and exterior. The floor is uniformly tiled with porcelain stoneware resembling natural stone (swimming pool and changing rooms) and wood (restaurant and sauna).


Starnberg 1807-Hugues-Seifert_Schwimmbad_20.jpg

Photos: Rainer Viertlböck

Starnberg 1807-Hugues-Seifert_Schwimmbad_41.jpg

Photos: Rainer Viertlböck

A shallow reed ditch that collects surface water extends from the lake past the sauna area to the road in the north and separates the forecourt from the traffic and the public parking areas. Two vehicle-access bridge elements made of precast concrete lead to the entrances of the pool and the restaurant and at the same time provide access to the employee car park and the disabled parking spaces. A third crossing of the reed beds is reserved for catering supplies. The building is linked to the sunbathing lawn by a stoneware slab perimeter path in the east and south, which broadens in places to form two terraces and leads to the lido changing rooms on the ground floor. In the sauna area, the former concrete wall has been replaced by a broad flight of steps leading to the lake.