The Accumulator 06.08.08

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The Accumulator is a vast funnel designed by international practice Office for Subversive Architecture that hangs over an empty swimming pool in Leeds. The work is a temporary monument to the much-loved public baths, which are due for demolition in April.

Shaped as a giant water collector, the Accumulator "collects memories and concentrates them," says OSA's Karsten Huneck. "The public are very attached to the pool – it's a landmark building and one of the great Olympic training centres in the country."

The structure is 12m long and made from strips of a translucent, stocking-like material. The parts were sewn together and attached to a pre-existing 18 x 18m structure in the roof, while a steel ring around the mouth of the funnel pulls it taut.

The 1960s building is being torn down because of its energy inefficiency, and the giant funnel symbolises this through the idea of wasted water. An original plan included a hole in the roof so that rainwater could drip into the pool, slowly filling it. "It would take weeks and weeks," says Huneck. "It would give an idea of how we value water – how little we get of it and how rare it is."

The Accumulator was commissioned by Leeds City Council and is accompanied by a show of photographs of the building. "It captures the transitional phase, between its past life and the future of the space's development," says Huneck.

www.leedsinitiative.org/culture

 

Image

Philip Day 

Words

 Anna Bates

quotes story

It captures the transitional phase, between its past life and the future of the space's development

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