Striking Paris art deco swimming pool reopens

In a scene from the 2001 film Amélie, the protagonist’s father steps out of the Piscine des Amireux.

Paris’s Piscine des Amiraux, an art deco masterpiece that featured briefly in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2001 French rom-com Amélie, has reopened to the public following a complete renovation.Since the historic swimming pool closed two years ago, €16.5m has been invested in its reconstruction, during which the 33-metre pool was completely demolished and rebuilt according to the original designs.

A view of the refurbished pool.


A view of the refurbished pool. Photograph: Paris.fr

The public pool, on rue Hermann Lachapelle in the 18th arrondissement, was first opened to the public in 1930. It was built by architect Henri Sauvage, a leading figure in art nouveau and art deco design, who made his mark on Paris with buildings ranging from public housing to the La Samaritaine department store.

The pool has two floors of balconies, lined with cabins.


The pool has two floors of balconies, lined with cabins. Photograph: Paris.fr

It underwent upgrades and changes in the 1980s and 90s and was classified as a historic monument in 1991 before closing in August 2015. The reconstruction was overseen by François Chatillon, chief architect for Historic Monuments.

The pool is lined with the same tiles used in the Paris Metro and is surrounded by two stories of balconies with 164 cabins – the doors to these have also been restored to their original green colour.

The reconstruction is part of the Plan Nager in Paris, which aims to improve swimming facilities in the city.

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