Penguins Barcelona is the new, innovative aquatics centre designed to stimulate children’s growth and support mothers-to-be throughout their pregnancy. To achieve this, design studio Pia Capdevila, together with architecture studio ARQ71, designed a safe, hygienic space thanks to HI-MACS®.
Penguins Barcelona, located in Barcelona’s exclusive Sarrià neighbourhood, is a pioneering school where everything revolves around water. The pool has been designed so that babies, children and pregnant women will be able to have a unique experience.
Since it is a centre mainly designed for children—from babies up to the age of 8— the design team paid special attention to the properties of all the materials to create safe spaces that are easy to maintain. That is why they chose HI-MACS® as the main element in the design of the areas that need to be more hygienic, such as the changing tables and baths.
The main aim of Penguins Barcelona swimming school is to develop children’s cognitive, psychomotor and emotional abilities through water, a medium that encourages their creativity and desire to learn, which is why this environment had to transmit confidence and fun. To achieve this, design studio Pia Capdevila looked to design a space with a clean, immaculate look where families would be able to enjoy their time together. The school also had to be a comfortable place accessible for all children, in order to give them autonomy.
These facilities, pioneered in Spain, consist of a main pool with safe, crystal-clear water that has no chlorine thanks to the technologies used to clean it. In fact, Penguins has become the first centre in Spain to teach classes in a salt water pool.
At Penguins, everything is designed to make users’ lives easier. The design studio decided to install baths and changing tables in the same place as the pool, so parents can dry off and dress their little ones as soon as they get out of the water, without having to go to another area. To create those elements, HI-MACS® was chosen as the material “because it is highly resistant, antibacterial and easy to clean, since it’s seamless. In addition, LG Hausys’ acrylic stone allowed us to design bespoke baths and integrate them into the worktop,” explains Pía Capdevila, creative director of the design studio.
The changing rooms are right next to the pool, as an extension, and feature baths for babies, as well as showers and sinks all made from HI-MACS®, at different heights. The acrylic stone material is extremely hygienic and thermoformable, meaning it was easy to adapt it to the shapes and measurements designed by Capdevila. The Arctic White shade of HI-MACS® was chosen for all these elements, helping to create a relaxed, neat ambience.
For parents whose children take individual swimming lessons, a relaxation room was created with pool views, as well as a children’s play centre. “We were looking for a space that had a clean and simple image, where, above all, parents and children alike would be able to have a good time. We didn’t want it to be too childish or too sterile either,” says Capdevila. The café has thus become the meeting point for many of the families, with a snack area and work area for busy parents.
The choice of HI-MACS® was key in a project like this one, since it was essential to have pure, resistant high-quality materials that would make it easy to maintain, as well as provide a functional result and a relaxed ambience.