Crystal Lagoons Sets Its Sights on Big Cities
European cities may soon offer monumental crystalline lagoons for the general public to bathe in. The biochemist, Fernando Fischmann, founder of the multinational water-innovation company, Crystal Lagoons®, recently gave an interview to Immobilien-Redaktion, an Austrian website specialized in the real estate industry.
During the interview, Fernando talks of how he developed a groundbreaking, innovative and sustainable technology that makes it possible to build monumental man-made crystalline lagoons in any location on earth.
Can you briefly talk about Crystal Lagoons technology, and how the firm has managed to maintain operating costs so low?
Fischmann: Conventional pool technologies require high concentrations of chemicals for water maintenance and a large volume of energy for filtration. With Crystal Lagoons revolutionary new technology, the use of chemicals and energy can be dramatically reduced, and operation is also very cost-effective thanks to our technology.
It consists of a process that allows the construction and maintenance of monumental water bodies in crystalline condition, using up to 100 times less chemicals than a conventional pool and only 2% of the energy.
What is relevant is that it is a sustainable technology in terms of water consumption. It uses a closed circuit, which can use fresh, sea or brackish water. In fact, it consumes 30 times less water than a golf course and only half of the water required by a park of equal dimensions.
Another innovation of our technology is a film that controls the evaporation of water, significantly reducing compensation for water lost through evaporation. Additionally, our lagoons have the additional benefit of capturing rainwater, therefore, in rainy areas they do not require consumption.
The company operates a state-of-the-art cloud-based platform for monitoring and controlling the hydraulic, biochemical and mechanical systems of the lagoons, remotely. It enables to keep water quality at the highest standards, regardless the place on Earth where they are located.
How many Crystal Lagoons are there worldwide?
Fischmann: The firm currently has a portfolio of over 600 projects in different stages of planning, design, construction or operation in over 60 countries worldwide, on all 5 continents.
In which European cities do you plan to install Crystal Lagoons?
Fischmann: Crystal Lagoons already has a lagoon in operation is Spain, Alcazaba, and is soon to open 2 Public Access Lagoons (PAL), which are currently under construction: Alovera, also in Spain, and another in Turkey, which is set to open soon. We have a total of 9 projects in Europe in different stages of development. We hope to make more announcements soon.
Compared to your first project, how have the wishes of clients changed over the years?
Crystal Lagoons is a company that started 10 years ago. In the first 9 years of operations, it revolutionized the real estate world with projects with lagoons that add tremendous value, boost sales speed and increase land prices. But, above all, they change the lifestyle of the communities.
However, in 2018, Crystal Lagoons entered a new revolution with its Public Access Lagoons (PALs), which are changing the lives of people in many cities around the world.
PALs enrich urban environments and bring the beach to the heart of cities. These are outdoor projects that are based around a large lagoon, which can be accessed by the public through a ticketed entry, while their surroundings harmonize with a vast space focused on entertainment, which balances architecture, landscaping and water. Today, when people feel the need to go to the beach, they will find it within the city.
This is similar to what happened 200 years ago with parks, until then they were only found within kings’ palaces. When people wanted to have contact with nature they had to go to the forests outside of the cities.
Until someone decided to incorporate a piece of these forests in city centers and public parks arose. Today, cities around the world are designed according to these parks, which bring areas of vegetation and nature to the heart of the city.
The same is happening with PALs. People will not have to travel to the ocean, they will find it in the city, generating a complete change in lifestyle. They will be the most memorable places in the city, offering multiple activities and services. When people say “I want to eat,” they will find restaurants bordering the lagoon; or “I want to get married”, they can say their vowels in an event center with the best views; or if they think “I want to spend a day with my family,” or “I want to practice sports,” they will find all that in the PALs.
This is already happening in the US, in a rural area surrounded by paddocks, 40 minutes from Tampa. There the first lagoon, inaugurated as a real estate project, had to be transformed into a PAL, because the people living in this rural area turned towards the beach. Today, people spend the day at the PAL and it has become a day activity in itself. It has been so successful, that they have been forced to close the doors because of the sheer quantity of people arriving.
This new generation of Crystal Lagoons amenities offers a place of rest and recreation as well as a safe and democratic environment to enjoy our crystalline waters. It also makes it possible to live the dream of living close to the beach to those who do not have holidays or a pool at home to cool off.
What would you say is the most avant-garde concept Crystal Lagoons has to offer?
As a company, our goal is to change the way people live in cities. Public Access Lagoons is a new state-of-the-art standard in urban recreational activities.
We go beyond the private residential market, opening our turquoise lagoons to the public in new places such as parks, shopping centers, golf courses, racetracks, etc. They can be accessed via a ticketed entry.
The wide range of beaches and scenery make PALs a perfect gathering spot for the XXI century, and convert them into an ideal location to enjoy cultural shows and events for the whole family.
Did you anticipate how successful your idea would be?
I always said, when I was doing the research, that if I solved this problem, I would not only have a solution for my lagoon, but that a technology that could cause global impact. That was my dream.
Is there a minimum size for a Crystal Lagoons amenity? Would it be possible, for example, to install a Crystal Lagoons in New York’s Central Park or in Vienna’s Stadtpark?
Yes, it is absolutely possible, the lagoons can be built to any size. However, for them to create an impact, Crystal Lagoons recommends a surface larger than 0.5 hectares in order to allow sailing and the practice of water sports.
The size of the lagoons varies greatly, but on average they are of around 3 hectares, although some are over 40 hectares.
Is there a specific average annual temperature required in order to prevent the lagoons from freezing?
The lagoons started in countries with cold weather climates, where they are often occupied no more than 2 or 3 months a year. But, even when they cannot be used for bathing, they are scenically beautiful, and offer extraordinary views from restaurants, boulevards and amphitheaters. They allow for the practice of water sports, events, concerts. They are places where you can stay for several hours and throughout the year, without having to depend on the weather, because these bodies of water can be covered completely or partially by domes. These domes also mean people can enjoy the lagoons for a longer period of time.
What is your vision for the future?
My vision of the future is that we will change the lifestyle of people living in cities. We will change their daily life, bringing a piece of the ocean to cities. It once seemed impossible to have the beach and water sports on your front door step.
PALs offer huge social change. They are a new way of living for people in the city, and are becoming the meeting place of the 21st Century.
Crystal Lagoons is an international innovation company, founded by scientist Fernando Fischmann, which has developed a patent-protected technology that allows the construction and maintenance of unlimited-size clear water lagoons at very low costs.