The floating kayak club house is designed for the requirements of the kayaking sport. It contains two rooms: One for lounging, changing room, sauna and club facilities and another for storage of the kayaks. The rooms are located around an inner “water room” which is at an angle allowing the users to enjoy the beautiful view of the Vejle inlet bridge as well as a linear direction of sailing out onto the inlet. On the roof surfaces there is room for an outdoor lounge area and activity.
The first floating club house in Denmark
It has taken a long time to develop and establish but the country’s first floating club house has been launched in Vejle. The solution is a suggestion as to how the water sports clubs can get more room on the other side of the quay.
Anyone who does kayaking or rowing knows about the first problem: How to get the boat into the water? This can be solved in a number of ways but to make it as easy as possible was one of the fundamental challenges when the Danish Foundation for Culture and Sports Facilities all the way back in 2008 began to look into the possibilities of move club houses out onto the water.
At the time, kayaking, canoeing and rowing were the fastest growing sports in Denmark with 100,000 active adults which correspond to the number of active adult handball players. The clubs got waiting lists and many became active as self-organised. It was clear that everywhere there was a need for new club houses with meeting rooms, changing rooms and storage rooms as well as bridges from which to launch the kayak, canoe or rowboat. At the same time, very few harbour and lake facilities have excess areas to give to the clubs and sports clubs.
Solving the problems of water access
The Danish Foundation for Culture and Sports Facilities got to work on the idea of a club house that could meet these challenges. If the house was moved out onto the water, that would solve the problems of difficult access to water from the quay edge. This would also open up for all new “building areas” in the harbour areas if the clubs could move to floating ground. If there was open and easy access from the quay edge to the water for everyone, regardless of whether they were members of a club or self-organised, a floating club house could be used by all. This new kind of facility could become the solution to the facility challenges that arise when a sport experiences intense growth without the infrastructure being able to keep up.
The National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF) and the developer CPH City & Port Development in Copenhagen were involved in the idea together with two architects’ offices. In Copenhagen, they never went beyond the idea stage. In Vejle, the municipality decided in 2009 to submit a bid for a floating club house designed by Force4 Architects. The decision was not difficult to make, but the actual build phase turned out to be a challenge. It was more difficult than expected to build a floating house in the marina in Vejle Inlet. That is why it was not until the spring of 2015 it was possible to launch the first kayaks from Vejle Kayak club.
Moving club life out onto the water where there is room
In the meantime, the club island in Vejle was established right next to the floating club house. The club island, built on piles and thus easier to establish, houses several yachting clubs and the two facilities for club life on the water complement each other significantly. Together, they show how space problems for water sports clubs can be solved by moving club life out onto the water where there is far more room.
The floating club house in Vejle is designed for the requirements of kayaking. It contains two rooms: One for a lounge area, changing rooms, sauna and club facilities and another for storage of kayaks. The rooms are place around an inner “water room” that is at an angle allowing the users to enjoy the beautiful view of the Vejle inlet Bridge as well as a linear direction of sailing out onto the inlet. On the roof surfaces, there is room for outdoor lounging and activity.