Officially opened on December 4th 1932, the pool was the first of its kind to start operating in the Gironde département. It had been commissioned two years earlier by the town’s Socialist mayor, Alexis Capelle, and was executed to the designs of local architect Louis-Alfred Blanchard. Various specialists brought their specific expertise to the decorative mix: a painter named Bime, a sculptor named Vignal, the ceramist brothers Castiaux and the enameller Duvigneau.
Patrons would enter through the grand entrance on the street corner, and proceed either to the indoor pool on the left, or to the right which was given over to public bathing and showering facilities. In 1964, an outdoor “piscine d’été” was built to the rear of the building.
He called on the architect Patrick Bouchain, whose stated intention was not one of wanting to restore or rebuild but rather “to bring the place back to life. Many monuments are either abandoned or become museums. With regard to the swimming pool in Bègles, it was decided that the building would retain its initial function”. (Source: Batiactu.)
- Find it: Rue Carnot, Bègles.
- Invisible Bordeaux visited the pool during the annual heritage day; if interested in simply turning up and going for a swim (or a sweltering session in the sauna), full information is available here: www.mairie-begles.fr
- The town of Bègles has published this excellent Flickr gallery of Piscine Les Bains, including some fine archive pictures.