This modern aquatic complex Les Bains des Docks, recently opened in Le Havre, France, is designed by Jean Nouvel. Les Bains des Docks is a revitalisation project lead by the city in order to create together with a new shopping centre a unique destination in the long term.
The 5,000-square-meter complex, inspired by the Roman thermal baths, offers a beautiful atmosphere of tranquility with the fantastic play of natural light soothing the eyes, the masterful acoustics pleasing the ears, and the pools and treatment areas taking care of the rest of the body. Although the main “color” of the complex is white, each section’s distinct atmosphere and hue is created by flowing water curtains, color walls, and various textures and surface treatments. Each pool is designed, shaped and lit to create a unique “private space” for its specific users. These seemingly enclosed areas help minimize echoing and sound carriage – an annoying aspect of most aquatic centers — as do the varying-height floors and ceilings, and the acoustic false ceilings. Saunas, a hammam, cold and hot baths, and a spa area with hydro-massage and aqua gym areas complete the atmosphere of pampering and care.