Frankfurt Rhine Main will be World Design Capital 2026 with the claim  ‘Design for Democracy. Atmospheres for a better life’.

Our conceptual design vision for the recovery of the public swimming pool culture in Frankfurt am Main, is part of the proposals submitted for Design for Democracy.

The title World Design Capital® is awarded every two years by the WDO and is an internationally recognized program initiated by the design industry in recognition of cities and regions for their effective use of design to promote cultural, economic, social and environmental development. In an extensive year-long program of events, the designated city or region presents itself as a center for design, creativity and innovation. It becomes part of an international network and experiences a strong increase in tourists.

Frankfurt am Main
The city on the river, the city with the river in its name.

Everyone knows this pair of terms, but for the people of Frankfurt, the river is little more than a beautiful view, an occasion to build bridges or, for a few, a leisure area.

At the turn of the century from the 19th to the 20th century, people were already ahead of their time...

Up to 10 different pontoon constructions on both river banks with simple wooden decks and changing huts provided the backdrop for bathing in the river, used by Frankfurt residents of all social classes.

The Second World War put an end to this democratic bathing culture.

For 10 years, the friends of the "Frankfurt swimming culture in the river" have been developing a wonderful idea further and now see the right time to realise the miracle of the re-emergence of a Main bath with a new design idea.

The current evolution of the design process envisages a structure with a very unobtrusive architectural signature. A reservoir of swimming water lies in the river separated by a barely perceptible membrane. Accesses, edges and platforms are reduced to the necessary. The bank is used for the installation of changing rooms and technical rooms. The location is variable, the Mainbad is a nomadic project.


Frankfurt am Main, Germany
public swimming pool
variable sqm
Project Team
L. Etchegorry, J. Maier

VEREIN FREISTIL e. V. für ein Frankfurter Flussbad
E. von Schwanenflug

Acepted proposal