Forget swimming pools—this new harbor bath in Aarhus, Denmark, is how we should all be keeping cool this summer. Bjarke Ingels’ firm BIG designed the floating platform along the coast of the city to create a protected community space for up to 650 people to take a dip.
BIG completed a similar harbor bath in Copenhagen in 2009, but the Aarhus edition is bigger and more ambitious. The new bath comprises a circular diving pool, shallow children’s pool, a 164-foot lap pool, and two saunas. The pools are surrounded by a plank wood platform, turning the water into blue cut-out shapes.
From above, the floating island juts out into the water in a rounded triangular shape and creates a Where’s Waldo tableau with hoards of people gathered around the geometric pools. In the greater cityscape, it’s an extension of Aarhus’ booming architecture scene, which includes the recently completed Dokk1 public library that also sits on the city’s coastline. Eventually, the harbor will add bath huts, a theater, hotel, restaurants, and shops.