Brussels, November 15, 2023 – In a city pulsating with architectural ingenuity, the Flow open-air swimming pool in the Anderlecht municipality of Brussels has emerged as a beacon of innovation and community-centric design.
This aquatic haven has recently earned a nomination for the prestigious EUmies Awards, a testament to its commitment to sustainable development and the well-being of citizens.
Established in 2001, the EUmies Awards, presented biannually by the European Commission and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation, celebrate architectural projects that make significant social contributions.
The 2024 awards will specifically focus on addressing the challenges of the European Green Deal, examining how architects and communities can collaboratively navigate the path toward a more sustainable future.
At the heart of this year’s nominations is the Flow open-air swimming pool, strategically positioned in a transformative neighbourhood evolving from an industrial zone into a mixed residential and commercial area marked by diversity.
The pool’s objective is to provide a refreshing escape and to underscore Brussels’ need for permanent outdoor swimming facilities.
The EUmies organization emphasized Flow’s dual role as an example and a provocation, shedding light on Brussels’ deficiency in structural open-air swimming spots.
“That way, the pool aims to convince authorities to invest in permanent projects while already offering a real, albeit small, safe and inclusive place to cool down in summer,” remarked the EUmies organization.
Flow’s location in Anderlecht, a municipality undergoing significant social and structural transformation, adds another layer of significance to its nomination.
The pool is designed to be an attraction for its immediate surroundings and the Brussels-Capital Region.
Anchoring itself in the fragile social context of Anderlecht, Flow stands as a testament to architecture’s potential to bridge communities and foster inclusivity.
The EUmies jury was particularly impressed by Flow’s mission to persuade governments to invest in permanent outdoor swimming areas by setting a positive precedent.
In a city where the intersection of innovation and community welfare is paramount, Flow emerges as a trailblazer, encouraging authorities to envision and invest in similar ventures that contribute to the overall well-being of citizens.
The nominations for the EUmies Awards also include four other noteworthy Brussels projects.
The sustainable co-housing project Duchesse in Molenbeek, the Brussels Beer Project brewery and tap room in Anderlecht, the sports hall Amal Amjahid in Molenbeek, and the Karreveld secondary school, also in Molenbeek, have all received well-deserved recognition.
In January, the jury will unveil a shortlist of the 40 most remarkable projects, initiating a process of visits to the finalists, engaging with architects, and holding discussions with residents.
This extensive evaluation will culminate in May 2024, when the winner will be announced at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona.
Apart from the coveted main prize of €60,000, there is also a dedicated prize of €20,000 for emerging architects, highlighting the EUmies Awards’ commitment to fostering the next generation of architectural visionaries.
As the architectural world eagerly awaits the outcome of this prestigious award, Brussels stands proud, with Flow and its fellow nominees serving as shining examples of how architecture can catalyze positive social change and sustainable urban development.
This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members