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Pools, Baths and Lidos

Inspired by the exhibition Into the Blue: the origin and revival of pools, swimming baths and lidos, RIBApix showcases a wider range of material held by the RIBA Collections from Roman baths and Victorian bath houses to lidos, pithead baths and contemporary swimming spaces.

For further images see bathslidosopen-air poolsswimming pools and pithead baths.

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Baldwyn's, Lingfield Road, Baldwins Hill, East Grinstead, West Sussex: the swimming pool and south front showing the living area with timber hyperbolic paraboloid roof

Bronek Katz R. Vaughan & Partners
NOTES: This substantial steel-framed house on a twenty-acre sloping site was designed by Bronek Katz R. Vaughan & partners for Mr Fred Kobler, managing director of Grand Hotels (Mayfair, London). An assistant architect of the practice, John Heath, was responsible for the interior design.

Baths of Diocletian with Santa Maria degli Angeli, Rome

Michelangelo (1475-1564)
SOURCE: Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Vedute di Roma (Rome, [1747?-1788]), pl. 116 NOTES: The Baths of Diocletian were built in 298-306; the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli occupies the central hall of those Baths. Michelangelo designed the conversion in 1563-1566 for Pius IV, but Vanvitelli altered the church in 1749.

Ugolino Golf Club, Florence: the swimming pool

Bosio, Gherardo (1903-1941)

Pithead baths, Betteshanger, Kent

Forshaw & Kemp

New baths and washhoses for the Parish of St Pancras, Tottenham Court Road, London

Gundry, Horace (1841-1900)
SOURCE: Builder, vol. 35, 1877 Dec. 8, p. 1224

Passmore Edwards Public Library, baths and washouses, Hoxton, Shoreditch, London

Hare, Henry Thomas (1861-1921)
SOURCE: Hermann Muthesius. Die Englische Baukunst der Gegenwart (Leipzig: Cosmos, 1900), pl. 23

Bains de la Sauveniere public baths, Liege

Dedoyard, Georges (1897-1988)

Imperial Villa (known as the Terme di Baia), Baia: Tempio di Mercurio

SOURCE: Paolo Antonio Paoli, Avanzi delle antichita esistenti a Pozzuoli Cuma e Baja (Naples: 1768), pl. 54 NOTES: The ruins of the Terme di Baia represent the remains of a Roman imperial palace (1st century BC-3rd century AD) where the so-called Tempio di Mercurio formed part of the baths. Its dome is thought to be the oldest example of a large-scale dome, pre-dating the Pantheon.

Foreshore development, Folkestone: the open-air swimming pool

Pleydell-Bouverie, David (1911-1994)

Swimming pool at Brno

Fuchs, Bohuslav (1895-1972)

Bath building

Thomson, James (1800-1883)
SOURCE: James Thomson. Retreats: a series of designs, consisting of plans and elevations for cottages, villas, and ornamental buildings (London, 1827), pl. 38

Baths of Caracalla, Rome: design for a proposed reconstruction of the Tepidarium

Aitchison, George (1825-1910)
NOTES: This and another drawing of the Baths of Caracalla were made in connection with four lectures on Roman architecture given by Aitchison at the Royal Academy in January or February 1889.

Lansdowne Club, Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London: the swimming pool

White Allom
NOTES: Charles Fox, a pupil of Louis de Soissons, was commissioned in 1930 to re-design Lansdowne House, designed by Robert Adam in 1762-68, for use as a private club. He remodelled the mansion to incorporate social rooms and a sports area, including a swimming pool, squash courts, fencing Salle, caf+â-® and bar in the basement. Sir Charles Allom, whose firm Allom, White was responsible for the fitting out of the great Cunard liners Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, was commissioned to decorate the Club in the 'Arte Moderne' style. It opened as a club on 1st May 1935.

Royal Masonic Institution for Girls, Senior School, Rickmansworth: the swimming pool

Denman, John Leopold (1882-1975)
NOTES: This purpose-built school was erected on the site of Rickmansworth Park house, which was demolished in 1926. The design for the new boarding and day school was put out to tender in an architectural competition. It was won by J L Denman, a Freemason himself, whose design incorporated Masonic symbolism, most noticeably in the semi-circle of eight houses, each of which having an H formation.