In the mid-1900s, the world became increasingly obsessed by the space race between the United States and Russia. Architecture started reflecting this obsession and design became sleek and futuristic. Mid-century modernism, as the style is now called, often depicts motion with upswept roofs and use of geometric and curvaceous shapes.
The Newlands Swimming Pool is an excellent example of the optimism of this period of history. Architects working for the City of Cape Town designed the pool and it was completed in the early 1960s. The grandstand has a skeletal feel, with several identical concrete ribs holding up a floating canopy. The canopy is swallow-shaped in profile and saw toothed from the front. And with Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak as a backdrop, the result is breath taking.
A ticket booth, locker rooms and press box form part of the grandstand, which looms over two pools: one Olympic-sized and the other used for diving and water polo. A pump house situated on the far side of the diving pool has a wave-shaped roof and is decorated with metal silhouettes of a woman diving and a man playing water polo.
CAPE TOWN MUNICIPAL POOLS IN THE LOCAL PRESS
Media Summaries: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 ATLANTIC SUN - 20 FEBRUARY 2013
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