• Eco pool for Porto river

  • 1454-AAI-OPO.PT-2015
  • by AAIMM

The aim of the project is to revitalize the waterfront and transform the aseptic costal area next to the city, into alive and dynamic place to be in a natural environment.

Design project concepts

By the analysis of the area, looking at the surroundings and reading about the city of Porto, in particular the area of Ribeira as Unesco patrimony, the predominance of Eiffel’s Bridge Louis I and in front of area of Vila Nova de Gaia, the project`s goal is to fit into with the elegant natural lines.

Our strategy is to dialogue with the environment and the river to make the quarrel with it at zero and to establish a profitable debate. The city developed on the contour lines, has followed those lines growing on them and through these lines, the city has its characteristic design. In particular, the waterfront of Vila Nova de Gaia deeped in green curves that arrive over the water, instead the costline front of Ribeira is hard and straight with no transition between what is built and the water. For these reasons, sinuosity is one of the key words of the design.

Promenade extension
Currently, the east side of Ribeira does not have a waterfront. The usable space to bike, run and walk, have artistic performances, seasonal street market, is enclosed in 2.5metres (plus half meter of continue sit stone, for a total of 3 meter). This is the reason why an extension of 7 meters to the existing 3 meters, is proposed. Thus, the meters in addition are not casual. The limit is taken by the monolith pillar of the bridge.

In the existing sidework the bike street take place and the walk area enlarge on the water side. Walking on the promenade the feeling is to be “like Miami”. Palms, sunshades, wood benches in white stones, shapes street lamp and bins on a special design pavement are the essential element to create “the Miami” feeling for this promenade.

Floating platforms
The floating platform is in our opinion the best choice to protect and reduce the construction impact on the river bed. Furthermore, the floating platforms follow the seasonal tide increment of three meter.

Since Douro is extremely polluted, the main goal of this project is to effectively depollute this river, in order to be used by people for swimming in wild environment. There are several ways for achieving this target. For instance, one way is to use the handmade, through mechanical processes. On the other hand, the same aim could be accomplished by making use of the natural environment. Ultimately, this are the core ideas of our project.

Fit with the program and programs added

In the project, there is the possibility to swim in a traditional pool or in the natural pool. The natural pool has been already described. At the same time, other people might prefer to swim in the traditional swimming pool. For this, we placed in the project a pool for 300 people that measures 10 x 25 metres (semi-olympic pool). Customers are provided with 384 sqm of changing rooms, with special emphasis on disabled individuals. In fact, there is a swimming pool specially reserved for them. Moreover, there is also another pool designed for children.

Open square is requested for leisure activities. At such, this includes a theatre, cinema, and artistic performances. We have 900 sqm allocated to this purpose, where there is a fix place for it which can be further extended on both sides, along with the cinema screen.

Changing rooms for the theatre and public toilets are precisely in the basement of the floating foundation. For nightlife activities, there are five pavilions which during day time are bars or cafes, and these are 524 sqm.

Commercial seasonal shops are 153 sqm.

Bar & Restaurants are fitted in the hung building under the promenade. In this building, there are two floors of them, and we have 1081 sqm. 249 sqm in the same building are reserved for apartments.

In the serpentine dock, there are different areas designed for various purposes. In the head of the project, under the bridge, there is the river cruise terminal, while on the opposite side, there is the more quiet and natural area, where people can fish and play a different range of aquatic sports, such as: canoe, diving etc.

The remaining programme is the promenade that is enlarged of 7 meters and where skates, roller and bikes have enough space to be used (for 4606 sqm).

Ecology, Sustainability, and Relation with the Water

Since the beginning we have tried to explain our aim for combining man activities with natural environment. Since the competition is called “Pool Porto Competition”, we kept in mind the importance of swimming. Not only for this reason, but also for the inside area of the serpentine dock, which has floating islands with plants that purify the water. Therefore, with this idea we want to test the possibility to purify the water with the aid of these elements described above.


architect: AAIMM  |  client: Unknown  |  status: Competition (2015)  |  location: Oporto, Portugal (41.141110, -8.608194)  |  climate: Mediterranean, Temperate  |  material: undefined  |  environments: Riverside, Urban  |  visualizer: Studio  |  scale: medium  |  types: public space, urban design, waterfront  |  views: 2.449