Salzburg’s Paracelsusbad, designed by Berger + Parkinnen, is a new building that replaces the aged swimming pool from the 1950s. Located in the middle of the Old Town near the Salzach, it joins the Congress Centre and a hotel to form the northern end of the Mirabell Gardens, which belong to the eponymous castle. Limited space means that the main functions of the bathing facility are stacked within the six-storey structure, which echoes the height of the surrounding Historicist buildings. The three-storey base is home to the spa and the dressing rooms; a single-flight stairway in the style of Jacob’s ladder leads to the upper level of the complex. This area meets a variety of needs ranging from sports swimming to leisure to simple fun: it has a 25-m pool, a splash pool for infants, a diving platform, a climbing wall, a tube waterslide and a relaxation pool featuring massage jets and a current canal. These are complemented with four saunas and a steam bath on the topmost level; a restaurant and spacious rooftop terrace are located here as well.
The appearance of the exterior is characterized by a raiment of white ceramic slats which are interrupted by wavy glazing at the swimming-pool level. These windows offer unobstructed views over the Old Town and the surrounding mountains. The ceramic slats continue inside as a lively, undulant ceiling: above the pool, it creates a spectacular sculpture that reaches all the way up to the roof, where a funnel-shaped skylight channels daylight into the structure.
An in-depth essay on the topic of swimming pools is featured in Detail 9.2021.