Places & Spaces

La piscine publique, II


Infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore; Leça swimming pools by Alvaro Siza, Porto

The public swimming pool seems to be a place from our childhood memories, as many have become abandoned in favour of extravagant pools atop skyscrapers or maybe we have simply resorted to soaking in the bathtub. For me, it brings back much fascination and nostalgia.

Typically we would imagine pools as a sunken, concrete box filled with water – but like everything else, there are always exceptions that stand out amongst others and redefine standards. Alvaro Siza’s Leça swimming pools at Matosinhos, a small town near Porto, have re-imagined the typical imagery we would normally have of pools. Here, they are conceived as au naturel pools surrounded by vast rock formations on the Leça de Palmeira beaches, almost in one with nature. On the other end of the spectrum we have the infinity pool atop the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, recently conceived by Moshe Safdie. Similar in functionality but so vastly different in terms of experience. I have not been to the Leça pools but I imagine them to be a place of imagination and great beauty – of leisure and relaxation; while the infinity pool on the other hand is quite another experience. One can think of it as a photo spot – a photo spot to take tourist shots from and to look at from afar. Martin Solveig magnified this iconic spectacle in one of his promo videos for SMASH – do not miss this.

What’s your favorite memory at the swimming pool?


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