Aqualibrium, Campbeltown

Historically the Victorian swimming pool was seen as a public building together with the library, town hall, courts and church. The swimming pool was given a physically prominent status in the townscape. It was as if mind, wellbeing, behaviour and body had an equal value in the eyes of the community. The dislocation of sport and physical activity out of this cluster of civic symbols can in part be held responsible for the current health and fitness issues facing society as a whole. The consignment of the sport function to the leisure shed, whilst a symbol of economy, has diluted the emphasis and prioritisation of sporting health in the eyes of the community.

In Campbeltown the combination of swimming pool, library, creche, meeting rooms and cafe reasserts the public face in a prominent central location. It consciously asserts a powerful civic presence addressing Campbeltown Bay and the town centre whilst turning towards its park setting. Conceived as an outcrop, an echo of the Darvar Rock at the mouth of the bay, the building is experienced as a climb up through and past the library and creche caves, the swimming pool and fitness suites plateau, up to the cafe prominentory overlooking the town. The result is, at one, a civic monumental presence addressing the town and a pavilion in the park.