Prague 2016 | Innovation & Sustainability

Ans Public Swimming Area

BelgiumBelgiumCompany Name: Gestrab

Project description

The public swimming pool in Ans, designed by architect Jean-Michel Ruols is a prime example of technological innovation. Timeless architecture, functionality, beauty and sustainability were the keywords. The exterior is given a streamlined look by large Saint-Gobain glass sections and the curved roof which is shaped like a wave. The well-being of users and the optimisation of maintenance costs were prioritised. The use of Gyproc Aquaroc cement based plasterboards was perfect for the design, as they have a smaller environmental footprint than cement. Gestrab used them as partitions and wall linings in the reception space, changing rooms and swimming pool space. In other projects the robust appearance of the Aquaroc plates is often hidden behind tiles or another finishing layer, but the architect chose to expose it here. It is reminiscent of the look of concrete walls. The interior screw heads were hidden from view by fitting the plates between stainless steel sections.



Gestrab was set up in the Brussels-Capital Region in 2008. Back then, it was a two-person operation that only did Gyproc work. Turnover at the end of the first year was €31,000, but twelve months later it was above €500,000 and the workforce was up to 19. Gestrab grew into a general finishing contractor. In 2012 the company was relocated to Liege to be closer to the majority of clients. Gestrab grew steadily and at the end of 2014 turnover was €3.5 million and the workforce was up to 46. Over the years Gestrab has worked on countless projects for various clients, including prisons, shopping centres, police stations and schools.

Moisture resistance
Aquaroc cement based plasterboard

Key Achievements

  • For this project the architect, drawing on Gestrab’s knowhow, opened up a new area of application for Gyproc Aquaroc plates as exposed concrete. Gestrab completed the extra work removing the logos without overrunning schedule, creating a striking, timeless look.

Key Challenges

The most important challenge was getting everything done on time as per the wishes of the client. The client’s unanticipated change of heart (removing the Aquaroc logo by sanding) required a quick but correct appraisal of the quality of this Gyproc product. If the results of the work to remove the logos were less than perfect, the shortcomings would be plain to see: it was ‘sink or swim’. But our products met the challenge with distinction.


Building owner:
Community of Ans
Jean-Michel Ruols & Delphine Boddin
Main contractor:
Alfons Condes
Saint-Gobain Team:
Michel Lambert, regional manager & Anne-Michaëlle Leroy, product manager