A first drop of fresh water in the river Spree, which flows through Berlin. The Badeschiff is an old river cargo container, which was recycled into a swimming-pool. Anchored in the Spree it runs as a public swimming-pool. The fresh water of the Badeschiff now enables the city’s inhabitants to figuratively swim in their river, which itself is too polluted.
In the year 2002 the curator, Heike Catherina Müller, of the association Stadtkunstprojekte e.V. (Urban-Art-Projects), invited international artists and architects to exhibit their notion of bridges within the context of a contest. Artists, architects and engineers were asked to form interdisciplinary working-groups to develop a project proposal for different sites.
The group around AMP Arquitectors with Gil Wilk and Berlin based artist Susanne Lorenz reinterpreted the task: Instead of staging any existing bridge, they suggested a bridge to the Spree. Developing the tradition of the bath-houses at the Spree in the turn of the 20th century, they reconnected the city with its river through the Badeschiff which contains a swimming pool. The aim was to access the river and thereby providing the opportunity to swim in it. For hygienic reasons swimming in the Spree is forbidden, so that through these means the river is reconnected to the daily life of the urban dwellers. Originally, the ship was intended to change its place every year. By the search for fund providers and clients the Badeschiff found its permanent site in the East-Harbour in front of the event-venue arena Berlin. The abandonment of mobility enabled an easier installation and also allowed a structuring of the banks.
The Badeschiff is in use since May 2004. The ship is flexibly anchored according to the changing level of the Spree water. The water of the pool is lightly chlorinated, has 22° degrees centigrade and a depth of 2 meters. The pool has a length of 32 meters and makes an exact geometrical figure built in the spree. The swimmers can enjoy a wide view of the harbour to the city's TV tower.