Designers of bespoke eco-friendly pools ... for 43 years!

A dive into 2052…

 

Piscinelle x Malak Mebkhout

As part of the Piscinelle Workshop, a space for reflection, inspiration and creativity focused on stylish pool spaces, we are delighted to present the OASIS project, the result of our collaboration with a talented designer, Malak Mebkhout.

 


 

Is it daybreak? Is it nightfall? In the oasis, the eye invents its own palette and makes its own choices. Hazy shades of colour, satiny reflections of a perhaps unknown material, unexpected shapes… everything slips through our fingers, surprises and intrigues us: are we in some desert, are we dreaming, are we still on earth?

Classics of futuristic literature and film such as Dune, Blade Runner and Total Recall resonate with these extraordinary images of a reinvented pool space. We feel emotional bonds with settings dreamt up by science-fiction pioneers, as if this pure creation were rooted in the relatively near future.

The concept of the pool area has been completely reinvented and replaced by a new, silky, soft aesthetic which transports us, as if in a distant dream, to a landscape of sand and metal…

The space is focused on the pool and organised so that people circulate around it. It symbolises the source and renewal of social contact, particularly through its function as a bar, where we can imagine animated chatter over cocktails tinted pink by the setting sun.

However, this highly personal project also triggers our more private and immediate memories. Those that stem from our own experience of pools, warm days spent by the poolside, reading our book in those intense silences of summer spells spent in our own company.

In this project completed during lockdown, the designer expresses her desire for a return to these comforting feelings, her dreams of escape to large open spaces, her approach reflecting a world in which the environment is an ever-present issue requiring us to rethink the way we use materials, and perhaps also a kind of acknowledgement of a significant crisis that has left us with a sense of foreboding that we cannot completely escape.

Having offered Malak Mebkhout (mlkmbkht) complete creative freedom, Piscinelle invites you to admire the fruits of her labour and dive into a post-COVID world with the OASIS project…

 

Extraordinary reflections pattern the aluminium palm tree, transporting us to a magical world that successfully unites seeming opposites in unlikely soft metallic textures.

Here, purity is virtually synonymous with the concept of cleanliness. The spacious aluminium deck and ultra-chic furnishings, including the shower and lamp, contrast with the rugged landscape of the sand dunes surrounding this extraordinary pool area.

Floated metal

A bubble of satin-smooth calm, the architect of this concept has combined ultra-contemporary, scenographically arranged outlines with traditions of the most distant past.

This future vision is a sophisticated synthesis that oversteps known boundaries, mixing metal and earth, water and sand, and following the tradition of both wild pool parties and calm meditative spaces.

mlkmbkht's genius lies in manifesting a constructed vision of elegance and boldness in an imaginary, perhaps futuristic space, where new material gives a subtle nod to its peers while also offering a further step ... in the form of an ode to a new material.

 

Behind its metal screen, the changing cubicle shields its occupants from prying eyes while also allowing them to see right through it. Everything is light in this imaginary world and the perfectly still pool in the foreground acts as a mirror reflecting metal, sky and sand.

A bold choice of material: aluminium conveys durability

In this futuristic vision, one material is given prominence: aluminium. It is the cornerstone of this project, this aesthetic exploration. Environmentalism is our new church, the cathedral for future centuries wrought with change, and an essential vessel for the passage of time. This model representing a possible future shows full awareness of this permanent challenge and is built on a joint desire for beauty and sustainability.

In this space, aluminium is used as a total medium for the imagination to develop new possibilities. This deliberate choice centred on a raw, recyclable and abundant material forms the basis of this pure look with its highly distinctive aesthetics. Unique. The decks, parasols, showers, lighting and decorative features have all been reinvented to combine tradition with a revamped version of it. The culture of sharing, enjoying the finer things in life, relaxation and tribal living, which forms our social architecture, are fundamental requirements perpetuated in a new material. The anodised metal helps meet these ancestral needs, while providing an extraordinary, soothing visual experience with its satin-smooth reflections and purity that we naturally associate with cleanliness. This bare, pure material brings maximum simplicity to the architecture, reducing it to its lines. It almost appears to disappear, leaving air and its complete transparency … thus fulfilling the ultimate role of design, which is to serve, enable, and ultimately defer to the experience it offers. Generating the present

 

Surrounded by desert, the whole scene appears unreal and inspired both by our traditions of revelry and imaginings of distant worlds…

The future is for us to invent

Like a still life, this fantasy in metal appears to float, almost unreal, providing a stippled reminder that humans have been here. Left open on the deck next to a sun lounger is a book that someone has been reading until very recently. It evokes in us the thousands of possible stories it might tell, and in particular, our own: whatever this vision tells us, it is undoubtedly the work of fate's unruly children.

The pool ladder, an object so classic and mythical, is part of an essential pool vocabulary which MALAK employs and reinterprets, incorporating it seamlessly into a futuristic world focused on aesthetics.

This pool area is entered by the side of the changing cubicle, an anteroom to this new experience. It is separated from the main scene by a colonnade of aluminium pillars that structure the space and fragment the view, adding depth and mystery for visitors.

The future does not exist. It must be continually invented. A sunshade perhaps, but what if it were a moonshade or earthshade … we are free to reinvent it right down to its name, function, shape and use. Perhaps the totem of a new god derived from the circuits of a microchip yet to be designed, a hover lounger is one possible concept that may be jointly conjured up by man and his servant imbued with artificial creativity... 

Arid. As if surrounded by that ultimate desert, the Ténéré, a forgotten and searingly hot region of the Sahara, the scene paints an extraordinary picture. Yet it also appears to revolve around life, since water takes centre stage. Accentuated and borne above the ground by metal, we are reminded of an ancient pool that rejuvenates the soul. With its long, meandering course, life is a cycle in which yesterday's memories are tomorrow's joys. One in which water, its necessity and pleasures perpetually form the keystone of even the most distant naves, an oasis in the desert...
 

The whole scene is a delight, a stylish and aesthetic challenge for us to reconsider objects that are so familiar, and also the very way we use a pool, which could just as easily become a bar and a strange realm of metallic plants, a new totem for a distant civilisation...

The colours of the sunset reflected in the silken metal are extremely soothing to the eyes. This artist's vision prompts an irresistible urge to visit, and it's difficult to restrain ourselves from going to this intangible place that seems so familiar to us in all its strangeness…

View more images of the OASIS swimming pool project designed by mlkmbkht (credit: mlkmbkht):

 

About the artist

Malak MebkhoutMalak Mebkhout – mlkmbkht

After graduating from the Paris-Val-de-Seine school of architecture in 2010, Malak Mebkhout continued her studies at HEAD-Genève, where she was awarded a master's degree in Space & Communication Design in 2013. She was subsequently appointed assistant lecturer on the interior architecture bachelor's degree programme. In parallel to this, she also works actively as a freelance designer, producing various exhibition scenography projects. She was one of the 10 winners of the Designer Parade 9 competition at Villa Noailles in 2014. In 2015, she was awarded the Geneva Cantonal Contemporary Art Fund Grant, which she used to produce her Piscine(s) series. In April 2016, Malak moved to Bordeaux where she founded Countach Studio with Fabien Saura and continues to teach on the master's programme at HEAD-Genève.

 

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Last updated on 04/05/2022

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