Location: Reykjavik, Iceland
Configuration: 5 lanes of 25 meters + play area
Fee: 500 ISK (Icelandic kronur), approximately $3.84
The “Swim Palace of Reykjavik,” Sundhöll Reykjavikur was designed by the architect of some of Iceland’s most famous buildings. It doesn’t “count” for this project because I didn’t actually swim here, but I visited on Friday for a diving and synchronized swimming exhibition and can’t resist posting about it. Reykjavik’s first indoor pool and the city’s only diving facility, Sundhöllin opened in 1937. Brand-new diving boards were installed just in time for our meet, and the TNYA diving team took top honors!
The building was designed by Guðjón Samúelsson, who later designed the nearby Hallgrímskirkja (left), the iconic hilltop church that is Iceland’s tallest building. The interiors feel similar to me with the way they allow light to come in to areas typically not known for their brightness–i.e., pool decks and church pews. Samúelsson was Iceland’s state architect from 1924 until 1950, and his other credits include the National Gallery, National Theatre, and University of Iceland.
The day after the diving competition, the divers put on an exhibition together with synchronized swimmers from San Francisco. In the opening remarks, Iceland’s head of aquatics spoke of the country’s wish to use the event as a literal springboard to encourage the sport of diving.
Visiting swimmers and locals packed the deck for the excellent exhibition, during which the respective coaches explained some technicalities of their sports as their athletes gave demonstrations. It was a great show, and this pool tourist especially enjoyed the education in other pool disciplines. A TV camera showed up to film the action.
I read that the facility also includes outdoor hot pots with city views but didn’t have a chance to see them for myself. With all the big outdoor pools around town and not that much time left, I’m not likely to return here for an indoor pool workout.