Marquise is an architectural threshold to the indoor aquatic facility “Westside Natatorium” in El Paso, western Texas, USA.
Drawing inspiration from the 19th century Art Nouveau entries to the Paris Metro by Hector Guimard, the lightweight aluminium spatial entry structure transforms the approach and experience of this new public building. Gridded curvilinear panels, as thin as 3.17mm in places, comprise the brightly-coloured canopy and its self-supporting structural system.
A two-way Cheshire gradient in deep blues and warm yellows alternates graphically to emphasise the sweeping surfaces. Seemingly inflated by the wind, as a tent or sail, the ultra-thin surface billows up from the ground, where it forms two contiguous seats. The two cast in place concrete elements inherit the compound curvature of the faceted but flowing surface, extending this point of entry into a welcoming social space signalling poolside play.