May 2020 date is the target for Hungary's Debrecen water park opening
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May 2020 date is the target for Hungary's Debrecen water park opening

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A three-dimensional water experience – a little oasis of wellness and sustainability – is rapidly coming to fruition in the middle of the Great Forest of Debrecen, Hungary.

The Aquaticum Water Park is due to open on 1 May 2020, and is the latest strand in a HF200bn (US$660m, €590m, £510m) transformation project for Debrecen, which is Hungary's second-largest city. There has already been the creation of a new cultural centre, stadium and sports pool, and the city's zoo and theme park are also to be redeveloped.

However, the cuboid structures of the Aquaticum are already rising above the trees in the Great Forest (also known as Nagyerd). Designed by Hungarian firm BORD Architectural Studio, the attraction – a combination of spa, lido and waterpark – will be presented with a structure of cascading waterfalls (enclosed within glass walls to reduce noise), and laid out over multiple storeys.

Peter Bordás, founder of BORD, explained: "This was an experiment for us really that resulted in the creation of an unconventional, three-dimensional water experience, which at its heart features a cuboid shaped visual module made entirely of water, and reflects the green colours of the surroundings.

"Our concept was to place the different theme elements into this environment as if they were pieces of a mosaic. In the middle we visualised a statue-like design that elevates the water and greenery to a different dimension, emphasising the outstanding natural surroundings of the Great Forest."

The waterpark will serve the local community as well as drawing tourists, and will have a capacity of 6,000 people per day. The park will have adventure and sports pools, with each pool experience separated either by glass walls with water cascading down, or "living" walls, covered by green plants.

The largest of the pools will be a 1,160sq m (12,500sq ft) adventure pool with a water cave, lazy river, a bar and four different types of slides. There will also be training pools, a water polo pool and a diving pool with diving stages up to 4m (13.1ft) high.

For a more relaxing time, a 12m (40 foot) high sun deck will be available, with loungers, spa pools and entry to wood-clad waterslides, which are being supplied by Hungarian manufacturer Eleven. Inspired by the 2002 animated science fiction action adventure film Treasure Planet, Eleven and BORD have imagined a structure – part pirate ship, part zeppelin frame – with water cannon and slides coming out.

"We are well on schedule," said Bordás. "The central attraction and the entrance area are structurally complete. The kids' world is still under construction, and we plan to open to the public on 1 May 2020."

For more on the Aquaticum Water Park, see the latest issue of Attractions Management, available now.

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A three-dimensional water experience – a little oasis of wellness and sustainability – is rapidly coming to fruition in the middle of the Great Forest of Debrecen, Hungary.
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