A dip into outdoor swimming pools: the history, design and people behind them
A celebration of outdoor swimming – looking at the history, design and social aspect of pools.
The 1930s architecture of pools is often sleek and elegant, evoking speed and efficiency. And the pools themselves are great social levellers – a public space where everyone is stripped down to a bathing suit.
The book begins with a history of outdoor pools – their grand beginnings after the buttoned-up Victorian era, their falling popularity in the 20th century, and the newfound appreciation for the outdoor pool, or lido, and outdoor swimming in the 21st century.
Journalist and architectural historian Christopher Beanland picks the very best of the outdoor pools around the world, including the Icebergs Pool on Bondi Beach, Australia; the 137m seawater pool in Vancouver, Canada; Siza’s concrete sea pools in Porto, Portugal; the restored art deco pool in Saltdean, UK, and the pool at the Zollverein Coal Mines in Essen, Germany. The book also features lost lidos and the fascinating history behind the architecture of the pools, along with essays on swimming pools in art, and the importance of pools in Australia. In addition there are interviews with pool users around the globe about why they swim. The book is illustrated throughout with beautiful colour photography, as well as archive photography and advertising.