Unique dive tank with international posibilities
In the Transfo area in Zwevegem, hidden in a buffer basin, there are three old oil tanks. The biggest of these tanks is 17 meters high and 28 meters in diameter. The re-purposing of this tank was a tough but exciting challenge. An international group of young architects embarked on a brainstorming exercise to identify some interesting ideas for the tank. These include an arena theatre, climbing hall and a dive tank similar to the Gasometer in the Landschapspark in Duisburg, the later being the preferred option.
The Dutch-speaking League for Underwater Research and – Sport (NELOS) was immediately convinced by the idea of building a dive tank to repurpose the old oil tank and they started a feasibility study involving market research and economic assessment. From this feasibility study, the dive tank was born. The dive tank was a solution allowing dive courses at greater depths with perfect visibility. Diving in the dive tank is comparable to diving in open water. This solved some issues with diving in Belgium and the Netherlands, which often involves limited visibility. Using the dive tank is a perfect transition between learning in a swimming pool and in open water. It is ideal for preparing the diver safely before he or she dives in choppy or limited visibility sea conditions.
The dive tank in the former oil tank is build in a way the actual tank is decentralized to the original tank. In this way a space is build between the outer wall and the inner wall who is used as technical space (basement room), entrance hall and cafetaria (ground floor), changing rooms (1st and 2nd floor) and waterfront (3th floor). An elevator and an internal staircase serve the various floors. Daylight comes in through the large air cushion roof. The other floors get a little bit of daylight through the little holes that are made in the outer wall. Non-divers can look in the water through a big window in the entrance hall or through the four little windows in the cafetaria.