Two and a half years after its reconstruction, the Aquaticum Debrecen Strand still receives international awards. The Aquaticum Debrecen Strand is among the awarded buildings in the Green Architecture and Recreational Architecture categories at this year’s Architecture MasterPrize competition.
This month, the Great Forest Spa is set to win an even more prestigious international award, as the building has been shortlisted as one of the best in the leisure category of the international WAN Awards. The awards, founded by World Architecture News (WAN) and World Interiors News (WIN), are being held for the 14th time this year and are judged by an international jury of renowned professionals. Each year, the award recognises innovative and imaginative building designers. The award ceremony will take place in mid-November.
Péter Bordás, owner and chief designer of BORD Architect Studio Ltd., told Dehir.hu that the WAN Awards are among the ten most prestigious awards in Europe.
For him, it is surprising but also gratifying that the jury still considers the Debrecen Strand worthy of an award more than two years after its construction, as architecture is a bit like pop music, and the newer hits distract attention from the older songs.
The Debrecen Strand Water Park, BORD, and Péter Bordás have already won many awards. Already at the design stage, the beach was named one of the best designs in recent years by the Dutch contemporary architecture magazine Mark, and later Aquaticum Debrecen Strand was on the cover of the Royal Institute of British Architects, the largest British architecture magazine.
Every two years, the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, and the International Association of Sport and Leisure Facilities present architectural awards for the best international sport and leisure facilities. Last year in Cologne, 4 gold, 7 silver, and 7 bronze prizes were awarded to the Bord Architecture Studio, the only Hungarian to receive the highest gold award, for the Aquaticum Strand baths in Debrecen.
Bord Építész Stúdió was a finalist in two categories of the A+ Awards, the largest international architecture platform, announced by Architizer. Although the waterpark was ahead of other projects in both categories in the public vote, the Aquaticum Debrecen Strand won the jury’s award in the Architecture + Engineering category. The Aquaticum was ahead of buildings such as Dubai’s Museum of the Future, which won the People’s Choice Award, the Skyboat in China, the Paper Store Museum in Cambridge, and the Crystal, a horizontal skyscraper in Chungking.
Aquaticum Debrecen Strand’s design team won the Green Good Design Award in April last year at The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum International Museum. The new Debrecen Waterpark was selected as one of the world’s best sustainable architectural creations.
The Debrecen Strand was featured on the cover of another international magazine last July, SB Magazine, which features the Waterpark on six pages alongside the cover photo. The magazine, published by the International Association of Sport and Leisure Services, defines itself as the world’s leading magazine on the management and operation of sports and leisure facilities. Read the magazine here.
In 2021, the Waterpark won the first prize in the Community Projects category of the Piscina & Wellness expo’s architecture competition.
The category is not only about buildings and their innovative solutions, but also about their impact on the community, their conscious placement in the urban fabric, and their social, health, and tourism impacts.
“My colleagues and I were constantly thinking about what we could come up with that would break up the usual Waterpark spectacle, so that visitors would not be greeted by a girbegurba slide, as they can see in many places. The aim was to give the visitor an experience, a space that they had never experienced before. After many attempts, the idea was to bring all the pools together and create a sunbathing area at the top of the water, where you can go up to the slides and the fun elements. This will have the effect of someone putting a big ice cube in the trees.”
– Péter Bordás, the chief designer, told Dehir earlier about the concept.