The City of Kiev wanted to build a year-round water entertainment complex to provide a high-profile, fun destination for Kiev-area families to enjoy. The facility would be the first of its kind in the region, offering swimming, waterplay and entertainment on a scale not yet seen in Ukraine. The developers wanted an inviting structure with lots of natural light and tremendous aesthetic appeal. They also wanted a place with good air quality, so users wouldn’t have to worry about breathing in the caustic chemicals usually associated with aquatic environments.
While looking for options that would allow light in through the roof of the structure, Aquapark developers discovered OpenAire at a tradeshow, where they were immediately interested in the possibilities available to them with an operable skylight.
Originally, the Aquapark developers were planning to move forward with a traditional steel structure. It wasn’t until OpenAire educated them about the significant drawbacks of using steel in a waterpark that they realized there was another, better option.
"When you’re dealing with the chemicals and the moisture that are present in an aquatic environment, a steel structure simply isn’t the right choice," says Mark Albertine, President, OpenAire. "The caustic chemicals can corrode the steel, which ends up having to be repainted often, components of the structure need to be replaced—and it generally needs a lot more maintenance over its lifetime. As soon as they heard our presentation, they knew it was the logical choice for their project."
When they found out that an aluminum structure would have none of the drawbacks of steel, OpenAire was brought on board to design, manufacture and install the retractable roof. OpenAire recommended the retractable roof to give them the natural light they wanted, and to improve air quality, allay health concerns, and dramatically enhance the overall aesthetic of the building.
OpenAire’s design included a 4-storey enclosure with a curved, operable skylight that has a built-in service trolley. The skylight spans 151’ (46m) x 182’ (55.5m), allowing 40% of the roof to open up in good weather, flooding the space with fresh air and sunshine.
OpenAire worked closely with Ukrainian ADC Architectural Group and engineering company ATM to ensure the structure met Ukraine’s building codes. They also coordinated with the Ukrainian HVAC supplier, incorporating cutting edge heating and ventilation systems to create dependable year-round comfort for visitors.
"The roof gives our visitors all the advantages of an indoor AND an outdoor waterpark, without any of the drawbacks of either one," says Ievgenii Zherdev, ADC Architectural Group. "In the winter months, they can splash comfortably in the warm microclimate, and in summer, they can enjoy natural weather conditions. The park looks completely different when the roof is open. It’s a whole different customer experience."