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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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Leeds International Pool, Westgate, Leeds

RIBA39919
Poulson, John G. L. (1910-1993)

Invisible House, Ponzano Veneto: the swimming pool seen from the north-east

RIBA40368
Ando, Tadao (1941-)
NOTES: This earth-sheltered villa was designed as the family home for Alessandro Benetton, vice chairman of the Benetton Group, and his wife, Italian ski champion Deborah Compagnoni, and their children.

Public swimming baths, Putney, London

RIBA45429
Powell & Moya
NOTES: These baths were given an RIBA Architecture Award in 1969.

Jubilee Pool, Penzance

RIBA46996
Latham, Frank

Wales Empire Pool, Cardiff

RIBA57104
Dryburgh, John (1918-1991)
NOTES: Constructed as the venue for the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, this complex was demolished in 1998 during the construction of the Millennium Stadium. It was replaced by the Cardiff International Pool which opened in 2008.

Wales Empire Pool, Cardiff: the pool hall showing the spectators' galleries

RIBA57106
Dryburgh, John (1918-1991)
NOTES: Constructed as the venue for the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, this complex was demolished in 1998 during the construction of the Millennium Stadium. It was replaced by the Cardiff International Pool which opened in 2008.

Country Club swimming pool, Chandigarh

RIBA57112
Malhotra, Jeet (1929-)

Bletchley Leisure Centre, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire: the swimming pool enclosed by the pyramid

RIBA57127
Faulkner-Brown Hendy Watkinson Stonor
NOTES: Milton Keynes, which incorporated the existing towns of Bletchley, Wolverton and Stony Stratford along with another fifteen villages and farmland in between, was designated a new town in 1967 and planning control was thus taken from elected local authorities and delegated to the Milton Keynes Development Corporation (MKDC).

Central Baths, Fairfax Road, Coventry: the main pool hall seen from the spectators' gallery

RIBA57143
Coventry City Architects Department
NOTES: Designed in 1956 and built in 1962-1966, these swimming baths with attached sunbathing terraces were amongst the most ambitious of those built during a short period in the 1960s when such complexes were encouraged. These baths and Swiss Cottage swimming baths, Hampstead, designed by Sir Basil Spence Bonnington & Collins and completed in 1964, were the only complexes of the period to be built with three pools.

Woking Centre Pool, Woking, Surrey

RIBA57219
Gollins Melvin Ward & Partners

Swimming baths, Bolton Grammar School, Bolton, Lancashire

RIBA58746
Lomax-Simpson, James (1882-1977)

Swimming baths, Bolton Grammar School, Bolton, Lancashire

RIBA58748
Lomax-Simpson, James (1882-1977)

Leeds International Pool, Westgate, Leeds

RIBA62992
Poulson, John G. L. (1910-1993)
NOTES: This is one of the images taken for 'Manplan 7: Local Government' in Architectural Review, vol. 148, 1970 July.

Leeds International Pool, Westgate, Leeds: the main pool

RIBA62996
Poulson, John G. L. (1910-1993)
NOTES: This is one of the images taken for 'Manplan 7: Local Government' in Architectural Review, vol. 148, 1970 July.

Public baths, Northampton: the Turkish bath

RIBA73537
J. C. Prestwich & Sons
NOTES: These public baths were part of a group of civic buildings which also included a fire station, police station and sessions court.

Dolphin Square, Grosvenor Road, Pimlico, London: the swimming pool

RIBA73569
Jeeves, Stanley Gordon (1887 or 8-1964)
NOTES: Located by the River Thames, this development comprised 1200 private flats built round a central square containing a sports centre with a swimming pool and squash court, a restaurant and shopping arcade.

Dollan Baths, East Kilbride: the parabolic roof under construction

RIBA76395
Buchanan Campbell, Alexander (1914-)

Dollan Baths, East Kilbride: the olympic length swimming pool

RIBA76403
Buchanan Campbell, Alexander (1914-)

Swiss Cottage Swimming Baths, Hampstead, London: detail of the sun terrace above the ornamental pool with sculptural reliefs by William Mitchell

RIBA76405
Mitchell, William George(1925-)
NOTES: The Swiss Cottage Swimming Baths and Central Library were the only completed buildings of a scheme for a civic centre in Hampstead. These baths and Coventry Central Baths, designed by Coventry City Architects Department in 1966, were the only complexes of the period to be built with three pools.

Public baths seen from the Medway, Rochester, Kent

RIBA83076
Smirke, Sydney (1798-1877)
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