Major Project Planned at Laugardalslaug Pool

Laugardalslaug swimming pool.

Laugardalslaug swimming pool. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

Vala Hafstað

The Laugardalslaug geothermal swimming pool in Reykjavík will be undergoing a major renovation in the coming years, Morgunblaðið reports. “This will be a major project, and it’s time for it,” states Seinþór Einarsson, office manager at Reykjavík City’s Athletic and Recreational Office.

Between 2.5 and 3 billion ISK (USD 18.4-22 million; EUR 15.50-18.5 million) has been allocated for the pool for the coming three to four years, and preparation for the project is to begin next year. In fact, repairs on the roof are underway while the pool is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It's time for a face-lift.

It's time for a face-lift. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

The outdoor Olympic-size pool, which first opened on June 1, 1968, will have to be rebuilt. “It will likely remain a 50-meter pool, but it may not remain as wide,” Steinþór states. “I think everyone wants to keep the round hot tubs.”

About 750,000 people visit the pool a year, many of whom are regulars. “I expect focus groups, such as regulars and swimming clubs, to be consulted about the execution of the project,” Steinþór states and adds that attempts will be made to plan the project in such a way that the pool can remain open as much as possible during the renovation. There is an indoor pool on the premises as well.

The grandstand is in a very poor condition.

The grandstand is in a very poor condition. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

No decision has been made regarding how to utilize the grandstand, designed by Einar Sveinsson, who served as city architect from 1934 till 1973. People seem to be divided in their opinions of it, Steinþór states. Some regard it as one of the area’s landmarks, while others believe it had better be torn down, since it is never used for seating spectators.

The matter is more complicated, though, he explains, since the pool’s control equipment, which needs to be replaced, is located underneath the grandstand.

“We mustn’t forget that it serves as a symbol for the pool and serves as a valuable windbreak as well,” he points out.

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