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The Lilu Natural Swimming Pool

Felix Baumann

How can a swimming pool improve someone’s awareness for sustainability? In Tunisia, they developed an aquatic complex with many sustainable features.

Besides being an aquatic sports complex, the Lilu Swimming Pool also works as community venue (Picture: Ezzine Abderrahmen)

The small community of Djedeida, situated nearby Tunis, Tunisia, has now a notable landmark: The Lilu Natural Swimming Pool. But it’s not only a basin, it’s a whole aquatic complex with an unique architecture, which includes also a Turkish bath, a health club and an organic café. Remarkably, the facility doesn’t need any water or chlorine for its pool, it uses plant purified rain water.

Ambitious Architecture

Responsible for the project is the Philippe Barrière Collective (PB+Co), an American collective of design studios. They developed a complex which is not only notable by its unique appearance, but mostly through its sustainable approach. The water from the pool, which is 300 m² in size, is collected by an adjacent olive orchard hill and the building’s roof. After that, it gets filtered and purified by local plants and needs no additional chlorine. The small-scale model of the hydrological cycle establishes an active dialogue between the residents and the local eco-system. The whole complex was designed to ensure a low upkeep and consist only of local rocks, gravel, field stones and larger demolition stones recovered from existing ruins on site.

A venue for the whole community

Besides bathing and swimming, the area also invites for diverse sports practices like football, basketball and tennis. Around the sportive activities, residents can also find places to relax, socialising with friends or to meet for informal meals. Therefore, the Lilu Natural Swimming Pool, works as an attractive community venue, which also improves the resident’s awareness for sustainability.



The basin is filled by water, which is harvested, filtered, then purified by plants (Picture: Ezzine Abderrahmen)