Design and urban bathing by Dock Marine & IOL Strategic Design30/07/2018

Wallonie Design met Liège-based company Dock Marine, currently a leading player in the modular and floating pontoon market, and the IOL design agency. Together, they shared their thoughts with us about protecting the environment, design integration and natural swimming pools, as connected to their swimming pool project in the heart of Paris.

L'été, il est maintenant possible de se baigner dans le Bassin de la Villette. Dock Marine’s expertise and passion for innovation and IOL’s intuitive understanding of design were crucial to the success of this ambitious project: three 100 x 16 m floating cubes for people who live in the city.

Design integration

Before the Paris mayor’s office’s call for bids, Dock Marine had already sold floating river pools, but on a smaller scale (20 m x 20 m). The company therefore had a certain expertise in delivering floating pools in natural environments. Several bids were considered, but it was Dock Marine that was chosen: “We won this call for bids thanks to our expertise in modular and light pontoon systems. It was quite a surprise, as we were a relatively small company compared to other bidders,” explained François-Xavier Denis, the founder of Dock Marine.

Accustomed to working on the development of pontoons, Dock Marine quickly realised that this was a much more ambitious and complex project. “The size of the pool presented to the Paris mayor’s office exceeded everything they had previously experienced. It was therefore necessary to devise new ways of keeping the basins immersed, of guaranteeing structural integrity, and of responding to the security requirements specified by the Paris mayor’s office over the three-year contract,”  explains Michaël Verleyen, administrator for IOL.

The project in a few key figures

  • 1,400 hours to install
  • 10 containers delivered to the right bank of the basin, in Paris, transferred to the left bank of the basin for installation
  • 2,000 swimmers every day
  • 9 safety check points
  • 55,808 visitors
  • 3 pools
  • 564 m² of decking

The Bassin de la Villette is the perfect example of a project where design is integrated at the heart of product development. This integration, in close collaboration with the company, makes it possible to deliver a finished product which goes even further than initial plans. Beyond keeping Parisians cool over the summer, this project has a real civic dimension, bringing residents together by offering them a communal space which respects the environment.

Want to find out more about this project? Read the Wallonie Design article.

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