Paul Haucolas swimming pool - Leffrinckoucke (France)

Designing with colour

Energy saving and colour research are the key features of this new swimming centre, where ceramic tiles play a major role in determining the overall environmental quality
Livio Salvadori
Jean-Luc Roussel - atelier 3A
Year of completion

When developing the renovation and expansion project for the «Paul Haucolas» swimming centre in Leffrinckoucke, France, architect Jean-Luc Roussel set himself two main goals: to reduce energy requirements by more than 40% despite the 200 sq.m increase in floor space; and to improve the acoustics, lighting and visual appeal of the leisure areas.
The old swimming pools (25×10 m and 10×10 m) and the reception building housing all the technical equipment were maintained, while a new structure facing onto the road was built from scratch to accommodate the new entrance and changing rooms.
The volumetric complexity, underscored by the colours of the exterior, is maintained inside the facility thanks to a precise layout and colour scheme. The project plays with colours but in a clear, orderly way, creating an overall environmental quality that is evident in all areas of the complex, from the pool to the changing rooms, from the entrance to the toilets. Ceramic tiles from Casalgrande Padana are used on all the surfaces, defining space according to modular installation layouts in an alternation of solutions that are mutually consistent despite their diversity.
The ceramic tiling plays a key role in determining the architectural and technological quality of the project, in which porcelain tiles in 14 different colours and 5 different finishes have been used. This ensures a high level of chromatic continuity regardless of their shape, position and type of non-slip performance required.
The exterior floors have been expanded and decorated with a stepping-stone pattern inspired by the children’s game of hopscotch and based on a repetitive pattern of coloured tiles to create a sense of perspective.
The colour and the various finishes help guide users through the facility, as part of a narrative or chromotherapy itinerary. At the entrance, the blue coloured floor tiles extend over the walls and the counter, while a tactile floor strip accompanies visitors towards the changing area. The wall tiles continue underneath the changing cabins, making it easier for users to locate their position.
The swimming pool space is warmed by lively, festive colours. The acoustic sails mounted above the pools reflect the colours of the tiles.
The pool is delimited by a blue strip running alongside the drainage channels of the same colour.
The walls and seating reflect the colours of the floor in a chequered pattern with a different composition in each space, repeated in the footbaths so as to create a sense of perspective looking towards the changing rooms.
The windows are bordered by coloured tiles that give a lively, surprising sensation to the natural light that penetrates inside. This effect is further enhanced by the polycarbonate façade cladding, the colour of the roof skylights and the glass bricks which create reflections on the water that vary according to point of observation.
The Landscape series tiles combine the technical characteristics of porcelain with the aesthetic qualities and colours of ceramic glazes. Although specially designed for swimming pool interiors, they are also suitable for vertical surfaces thanks to the Satin and Glossy finishes.
Consisting of unglazed fully-vitrified coloured-body porcelain, Elementi is the series with the highest resistance to physical, mechanical and chemical stresses. When chosen with a suitable surface finish, this makes it suitable for all types of interior and exterior floor coverings in swimming pools. The various non-slip surfaces are all formed from the material itself to ensure the durability of the original slip-resistance coefficients.

Casalgrande Padana, Landscape, Elementi
porcelain stoneware
12,5x25 cm
Tundra, Ocean,Baltic, Bahamas, Lagon, Dune, Sunset, Lava, Artic, Talco, Mare, Sabbia, Pietra, Alga
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤0,10%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): compliant
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 50-60 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10 (naturale)
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
Certifications and awards
ISO 14001
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