Pool’s Gold

IMG_7270This metal sculpture decorates the exterior of the Brauhausberg swimming pool in Potsdam, which is located near the main station. I’d like to have got a picture of the whole thing, but it’s half obscured by an evergreen.  So you’ll have to make do with bits of it & the (almost) seasonal tree next to it.IMG_7269

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In typical ‘GDR Design’ tradition, I know the name of neither the architect nor the artist behind the sculpture. But I do know that the building, which boasts a rather lovely curved roof, dates back to 1971. It was a bit of a prestige object, built to mark the 20th anniversary of the GDR, with everyone from schoolkids to the NVA pitching in during the construction. The pool was used primarily by local swimming clubs and in triathlons, but also occasionally played host to Olympic level events.

IMG_7279The pool is in bad condition (and was apparently riddled with structural flaws from the outset). It has been partly renovated since the Wende, but now seems to have been deliberately left to fall into disrepair, a bit like the Fachhochschule Potsdam which is situated just down the road. The company that owns the pool, Potsdam Stadtwerk GmbH was initially planning on renovating it, but instead, locals have voted for a new one, which will be constructed at the foot of the hill. The building opposite – former restaurant ‘Minsk’-  is perhaps more famous. A lot has been written about it already, so I won’t talk much about it except show you one of the surviving bits of mosaic on the side that caught my eye. The building’s future is unclear.

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IMG_7281But back to the pool: it’s due to be demolished when the new one is finished. Construction is supposed to begin in 2014, which means it’ll be around for a couple more years at most. Maybe I’ll manage to get a picture of the whole sculpture before then….
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