Memorial Park Pool Proposal Reps Houston, Flanks 50 Meter Competition Pool with Twin 100 Meter Training Pools


Local designer Paul Kweton submits for reader review his proposed Bayou City-proud Memorial Park outdoor competition and training pool for swimmers and triathletes.

“The pool offers a 50m competition pool flanked on both sides with 100m training pools,” writes Kweton, who is also known as “Paulbaut.” Hence the functional Nazca Line-like proposal’s name: the H-TOWN Outdoor Pool.




The plan calls for the pool to go in just inside the eastern edge of the park, in a large traffic island encircled by Memorial Loop Dr. and E. Memorial Loop Dr., just north of Beck’s Prime, west of 2 ball fields and east of the Tennis Center.


Turns out the “H” could stand for more than just H-Town: one of the two 100m pillars would be heated.

An airy pavilion with coffeeshop and changing rooms (and an intensely grooving young lady) is also part of his plan.


Recently ravaged by both Ike and the 2011 drought, Memorial Park is in the early stages of the Memorial Park Long-Range Master Planning Initiative, an overhaul of the giant playground’s ecology and amenities that planners say could take 20 years to fully implement.

Renderings: Paul Kweton

H Marks The Spot

24 Comment

  • Very MCM. I like it.

  • Gad…but it’s a good idea and worth looking at. Memorial seems destined to be the playground of the rich.

  • Yes please. Much better than the indoor pool idea they are floating with the master plan for the park.

  • I really don’t see this getting off the ground. It seems on the same page with the tunnels under the park on Memorial Drive. Cool concept, but seriously.

  • Believe me rich people have their own pools, I hardly see the fit of RO using this pool in mass. Interesting that there is no time line, no mention of funding. While we’re at it lets build an Olympic size set of pools, let’s say 7 and make them shaped liked an interlocking magnolia blossom in homage to Houston’s Southern heritage…oh fiddle de de.

  • You can only see the pattern from the air, very Nazca line like indeed.

  • I’ll be there with my swim noodles!

  • Herr Paulbaut should get input from actual swimmers.
    While this H-shaped synthesis of pools is very cool to imagine, competitive swimmers aren’t going to tippy-toe across stepping stones to their starting blocks.

  • “Rich people” may have their own pools, but the zillions of town home dwellers could make good use of this. Plus, it could encourage some Memorial Park area kids’ swim teams for area residents

  • Actual swimmer here. Looks like something drawn by designer, and not a swimmer. The prior commentor’s point about the inaccessibility of the starting blocks is well taken. As a practical matter, starting blocks are seldom used in the workout setting, but are critical for competition. But at a competition, there are a multitude of individuals behind the blocks: Timers, judges, swimmers from the last heat, swimmers for the next heat. So where do you plan to put them? If you can’t do it, then this is not a facility that could be used for competition, so get rid of the blocks altogether.

    Two lane wide attachments, even if they are 100m (which triathletes would love, by the way) are essentially useless. The facility would need at least 4 lanes on each side to be a serviceable training environment.

    And finally, what is the nonsense about one of the 100m legs being heated? Logically, this is one pool of water – the whole thing is heated, or nothing is heated. If it is not heated, in Houston, it will not be useable at least six months out of the year. Heat it, cover it on cold days, and enjoy it all year. Who wants dead money half the year?

  • Design is cute if the only requirement is to make the pool look like an H…..BUT could you make it any less functional? Why not hire someone who designs pools for a living so you can have a truly functional pool.? Recreational pools are supposed to be cute but a competition pool must be functional year-round. Ditch the H shape and go with the proven standard pool. As a year-round outdoor swimmer, the pool is going to need a good heating system with easy to place covers and a very good aeration system in the summer to keep the pool from getting too hot. FUNCTION before form.

  • I would also assume that the big pool’s connection to the training pools would mean that it would get some funky, irregular chop that competitive swimmers wouldn’t like.

  • Glad someone else mentioned the 2-lane pools. That’s not very useful. I also like how in the picture they have multiple people in the same lane and some dudes just chilling out in one of them. Even the designer knows its a non-functional resource.

  • Unless an OUTSIDE company is contracted for maintenance , this proposed pool will slide into neglect & disrepair like most other COH pools /parks/etc.

  • Actual swimmer here. Not only does it need heating, the entire pool, it also needs a chiller. Working out in a pool, the way competitive swimmers do, in Houston, in July, August and September, is like swimming in a bathtub. A pool chiller will make this a destination for those the designer seeks to serve. Also, lots of outdoor showers.

  • Put this thing in the astrodome and be done with it.

  • DrewJ:

    The pool I currently work out in is not unlike this design, in that there is a movable bulkhead that can be used to set up one end as 25y or 25m. While those swimmers are swimming north and south, it is not unusual to have another set of swimmers going east and west on the other side. The bulkhead very effectively separates the turbulence on each side, so no problem. This imaginary pool could be set up similarly.


    Most team workouts are done with several swimmers in a lane, “circle swimming”. A 25y pool, assuming a reasonable speed spread for the swimmers, can easily accommodate 4-6 swimmers, and a 50m pool – well, I have seen as many as 14 in a lane. 100M? The mind boggles!

  • Memorial Park pool is a quiet gem. Kiddos reign till about 3, then it’s pretty clear of people for a couple of hours. I’d be surprised if professional swimmers showed up at any city pool, no matter what it looked like. Can’t imagine the cost of extended hours and lifeguards required.

  • In all seriousness, it’s infuriating that the designer didn’t get a competitive swimmers opinion, this was designed by a man that’s idea of exercise is winding his “vintage” Rolex or moving his arms as he turns the pages of the New Yorker. This is such a fucking stupid design for a pool proposed for for swimmers not like pear shaped Jennifer in her T shirt and shorts or Ken, who is hairy as Sasquach and just as fat who just wants to hang around hoping for a date more enticing than Jennifer. (You see men, even hideous ones are completely delusion as to how women see them, you see even Cletus from Huntsville thinks he can land a Victoria Secret Model, when he in reality they couldn’t land Pear Jennifer). It would be funny it were not do tragic.

  • While we’re at it, let’s make it saltwater.

  • I’m all for upgrading the pool, and H style branding; but could we put in one of the existing bare patches of the park rather than cutting down surviving trees?

  • Get real, the only thing this “architect” thinks trees are good for is planking. I have no idea who authorized this stupid design. The Conservancy of Memorial Park seems to have these grand plans but no actual money. What a waste of time, at least ideas in Hermann actually come to fruition and have actual funds behind them. It seems daily we have some absurd idea on how to “upgrade” Memorial. It’s a great park, I don’t see the need to tunnel Memorial or build some 50’s looking pool, that isn’t even a functional design, but whatever I just use the park daily, what do I know.

  • @Al, thanks for the informative correction!

  • @Shannon……I totally agree with everything you are saying, this is STUPID!!!!!!!!