03 May 2011

Weekend in Lille - La Piscine


We took a trip to the small town of Roubaix, linked by metro to Lille. With a history in textiles, the city experienced economic decline........however, they have worked hard to revitalise their economy (I could take lessons from it back to my own job) and have developed a number of new opportunities. One was the innovative decision to create a museum formed in the city's disused art deco swimming pool and public bath house - "a temple to hygiene". The pool was designed by Albert Baert and opened in 1932 and closed its doors in 1985. Reimagined as a museum it opened in 2001.

Using the pool as the centre piece of the museum, the stunning glass "sunrises" at either end, the tiled changing rooms converted into gallery space...housing the town's collection of art and textiles. Drawers on the upper floor open to allow you to experience the tactile nature of the fabrics and textiles on display. It is an amazing transformation, maintaining the integrity of the original building and creating a unique and breathtaking space....that outshines the art!







To make you feel at home in the swimming pool, every so often, they played a recording of children's excited squeals and splashes.....

We spent ages taking photos of the gallery - and enjoying more cake from Meert on the terrace outside in the sunshine!



4 comments:

Bethany Hissong said...

What an interesting concept! I love the idea of incorporating the sounds of the past in the space. And the idea of experiencing the textiles! The Smithsonian has drawers of relics in their Native American Indian Museum that I just loved. It becomes more interactive and you feel as if you're discovering things yourself!

heather said...

looks absolutely lovely! such a good idea to add the squeals of children. and i love that it's a hygiene shrine of sorts.

ibb said...

My grandfather fighted also in the Civil War here in Spain, and the time of war is something my grandmother never talks about (she is now 92 and it was in 1936 ) Never talks and my grandfather didn´t too.
Love the concept of arranging some place without moving the essence to another use...

La Nouille said...

I love that place! La Piscine has to be one of my favourite museums. Your pics are gorgeous.