Nordic Urban is negotiating with the City of Stockholm about developing a floating harbor bath facility – a hamnbad – at Munkbrohamnen in the Old Town (Gamla Stan), right by the busy Gamla Stan subway station. Today, this area (formerly known as “Helikopterplattan”) can be characterized to be quite uninviting and underutilized. It, however, is a place where people historically gathered to swim together. Our vision is to revive that tradition in a new way.
Read about the Munkbrohamnen hamnbad in Swedish.
Picture by OOPEAA
Stockholm has a rich history of bath houses being popular meeting places for residents. They have been a cornerstone of Stockholmers’ lives for 200 years, aiming at bringing people together for exercise and relaxation. The city’s most famous and first larger bath house, Strömbadet (1884), was located at Riddarholmen, a little bit to the north of Munkbrohamnen. It was built of wood and attracted over 300,000 annual visitors to enjoy swimming and other activities.
Nordic Urban’s idea is to add something new to the local bathing culture by launching a modern interpretation of the urban bathing facility. We seek to introduce a floating well-being hub where people can swim, enjoy saunas, sunbathe, eat and hang out together, and enjoy being close to the water, every day of the year. A place that can serve as a complete meeting place for all occasions – and all Stockholmers.
Participate in the hamnbad conversation
Who is behind the Munkbrohamnen harbor bath project?
Nordic Urban is a company that works with real estate development on waterfronts, focusing on the promotion of urban culture and healthy living. Our ambition is to open areas by the water bodies of cities for urban life.
We are best known for the Allas Sea Pool facility which is located in the port of Helsinki, opposite the President’s Palace and the Swedish Embassy. This harbor bath facility has the first floating swimming pool in the Nordic region that offer swimming in warm water (27 degrees) all year round, even in the heart of winter. In addition to the warm main pool, the facility includes a children’s pool, a natural water pool, saunas, yoga & exercise programs, and restaurant services.
Our well-being concept is based on the Nordic values of a good life:
- Sustainable and connected with the environment, water, and wood
- Inclusive, egalitarian, and communal
- Coziness and intimacy
- Learning and self-development
Who is going to pay for the facility?
Not Stockholm! The facility will be financed entirely with private funds. In fact, we will pay rent to the city for using the water area that the complex occupies. The business model has been tested in Helsinki and it works well. Similar projects are underway in several other Nordic cities.
Where can I find the latest information about the project?
You can find the latest information about the project here on our website and on our Facebook page.
Can I influence how the Munkbrohamnen harbor bath will look like and what it can offer?
Yes, we are asking for your help in designing the facility! We hope that the whole design will be created in dialogue with Stockholmers, both residents and politicians. Therefore, we are constantly open to hearing your thoughts, ideas, and wishes. To participate in the discussion, please visit our Facebook page or email us directly.
Why locate the facility in Old Town?
The Old Town is in the heart of Stockholm and widely accessible to everyone in the city thanks to great public transport connections. In the Old Town, the facility will be a place where families and children can enjoy water, sports and recreation – in central Stockholm.
It may also be mentioned that Stockholm and Old Town have a long tradition of outdoor swimming. But Stockholm has lacked a bathhouse since 1936 when the Strömbad at Riddarholmen was demolished.
What technical solutions are applied to make the floating pools on Riddarfjärden work?
We are still in the planning stage, but we have a similar swimming facility in Helsinki. It is very likely that the Munkbrohamnen harbor bath will be built on double-bottomed barges made of steel and cement that are anchored to the bottom of the lake with piles or steel wires. We are also developing and aim to apply climate-friendly and energy-efficient solutions so that the Stockholm facility will consume less energy than a public indoor swimming pool with the same capacity. Our facility in Helsinki became climate neutral within one year of its opening.
How is the water cleaned?
Several methods are available for cleaning the swimming water of the floating pools. One alternative is that the pools will be filled with filtered water from Riddarfjärden via mechanical filtration and UV radiation, or via a natural water filtration system, often called biofiltration. This is an increasingly popular way to filter pool water without using any chemicals. The warm water pools are cleaned using sand filtration, UV radiation, activated carbon, and chemicals. The warm pools can also use ultrafiltration technology with membranes that are so small that even viruses and bacteria cannot pass through them. Both methods can clean millions of liters of water every day and the water that would be circulated back into Riddarfjärden would be cleaner than when it was taken up.
Have you taken environmental and sustainability-related matters into account in your business model and the planning of the harbor bath facility?
Our idea of well-being stems from the Nordic view of a healthy and sustainable life. This means, among other things, that care for the environment and sustainability is deeply grounded in everything we do.
Inclusion, equality, and communality are enshrined in our core values, and all our services are based on principles of holistic well-being and finding balance in life, leading to a cozy and intimate atmosphere. We intend to offer services that promote learning and personal development.
Nordic Urban will solve the heating of the pools in the most energy efficient way, resulting in a minimal or non-existent climate impact. We will invest in energy efficiency through thermal insulation and by reducing pool evaporation. The pools will be covered outside opening hours, which will keep the water warm like in a thermos. We will also use renewable energy to heat the pools and the facility to further minimize our climate impact. Using our technology solutions, the outdoor pools will use less energy than comparable conventional indoor swimming pools.
The facility will be built using wood as the prioritized building material, which further limits the harbor bath’s climate footprint.
For all of us at Nordic Urban, the well-being of the marine and aquatic environment is a very important issue.
- We support non-profit organizations that help protect rivers and other water bodies by elevating their visibility and providing them with a platform for educational events. In Helsinki, Allas Sea Pool has, among others, collaborated with the John Nurminen Foundation.
- Our facility can clean up to several million liters of water every day.
- The solutions we use to build and operate our floating facilities do not release any chemicals that can damage the aquatic ecosystem or marine life.
- We aim to use the best recycling system on the market and demand the highest quality in all recycling agreements.
- The food and beverage selection will focus on products that are sustainable and organic, vegetarian / vegan options will be promoted.