Swimming culture forms an integral part of the history and existence of any waterside town. A public beach is a very curious type of public space – here the personal space meets the social space (where else would you feel natural to throw your clothes off!), the lounging spaces blend in with the sports areas and this is what we have to maintain. The successful reconstruction of the swimming pool beach on River Emajõgi once again highlights the importance of good cooperation. There are never really enough resources to consider a large chunk of public space all the way through and improve it for all user groups. Such extensive projects tend to be rare and once you undertake it, it only makes sense to put your whole heart in it.
Anna-Liisa Unt, landscape architect
The beach had followed the logic of so-called nests also earlier: people separated into small groups with relatively wide paths between them. There was no uniform mass of holidaymakers but clearly perceptible temporarily privatised spots. The same concept is continued also in the new solution as keeping a sensible distance has become a general principle.
The beach is articulated into small nests each of them equipped with a sunbathing deck and playground equipment. Similarly, the children’s playground is scattered around the area. This way we get areas that are equal in terms of the volume of activities although the activities themselves can vary considerably: one includes a swing, the other a ladder, then a climbing frame etc.
The design language combines the sharp points of Lodjakoda and contrasting curves. Combined with triangles, the circles form the pins on a map – you are here. The beach encourages presence with the various activities providing something for everybody – it is good to be on the beach, to be here.
The main pedestrian and cycling path run between the beach and the bushes and branch into boardwalks towards the beach and the nests. The main path is paved.
The playground equipment is scattered in the vicinity of beach nests, only the volleyball court and sports equipment are set separately. The latter are located in training nests with each of them including equipment for various target groups: the elderly, gymnasts and outdoor gym users.
The furniture includes platforms of various size and structure, traditional benches with backrests, bins with lids suitable for the beach, changing rooms. There are three types of platforms for various activities – sunbathing, picnics, storage, campfire.
The swimming area is near Lodjakoda (Barge Hall) continuing the design language of the platforms. The platform-swimming pool is set perpendicular to the coast with the sunbathing area closer to the beach and a narrower path and seating area above the water.
We also designed a boardwalk in the shrubbery considering the current planting and landscape contours (to be constructed). There are some seats and extensions on the path for small gatherings. There are also so-called parallel beams along the way allowing to take the alternative route. The boardwalk runs parallel to the main axis of the coast and is actively connected with the beach allowing to switch between different situations.