Gh3 selected among top 10 innovative architecture firms

Toronto-based architecture firm, gh3, was selected among Fast Company’s top 10 innovative architecture firms for “jumping into the world of natural, chemical-free pools.”

An austere pavilion is made of gabion walls that allude to the natural filtration process for the pool’s waters.

“Certain stalwarts caught our attention for their thoughtful approaches to reducing architecture’s impact on the environment,” says Fast Company on their website. “We were also impressed by the architects behind such novel projects as natural swimming pools, large timber buildings, and heat-regulating software.”

The American business magazine recognized gh3 as a leader in the concept of “natural” swimming pools for building Borden Park Pool in Edmonton. Fast Company describes the outdoor public pool as a “technically sophisticated project” that uses locally sourced granite gravel and microorganisms as filtration.

Planted pools are integral to the natural filtration process.

The Borden Park Natural Swimming Pool is the first chemical-free public outdoor pool to be built in Canada. The project replaced an existing pool built in the 1950s and includes a seasonal pavilion and landscaped pool precinct for 400 swimmers.

According to gh3, the challenge was to create a large-scale pool with high-quality water control, while also achieving an environmentally healthy, natural filtration process.

“NSP is a balanced ecosystem where plant materials, microorganisms, and nutrients come together within a gravel and sand filtering process to create living water,” says gh3. “This is an unsterilized, chemical– and disinfectant–free filtering system in which isolating membranes contain water as it circulates and is cleansed by means of a natural process, which takes place at the north end of the pool precinct.”