Allas Sea Pool, adjacent to Helsinki Market Square in the historical Helsinki harbour and facing the Presidential Palace, was completed in 2017, although the pools and sauna section opened to the public already in 2016. The realisation of the project, venturing out onto the sea and into an area where new construction had previously been restricted, was possible through a temporary building permit until 2023.
The outdoor swimming and recreation centre is a large-scale wooden sculpture, which utilises its form to provide protection from the winds and also to frame views of both the city and the sea. An uninterrupted vista to the sea opens from the site, and the design stretches out towards the horizon with open views from most spaces, even the steam rooms.
The complex consists of a floating pool deck, sauna section, activity areas, rooftop terraces, a café and restaurant and maintenance facilities. On the deck there are two 25-metre swimming pools, one with warm water and one with filtered sea water, and a children’s pool.
All wooden surfaces are tinted or weather-treated spruce. The uniform materiality makes the borderline between the interior and exterior disappear. Wood was chosen as the construction material because of the temporary nature of the project. According to the architects, the prestigious location – one of the most prominent in the country – required architecture with a clear vision and uncomplicated details.